Archive for the ‘bombing’ Category

Thailand’s Crisis; Government Rejects Army Call To Go

November 26, 2008
Thailand’s army chief told the government on Wednesday to step down and call a snap election as a way out of a political crisis threatening to spiral out of control after a gang shot dead an anti-government activist.
Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, who has rejected army chief Anupong Pachinda’s call to dissolve parliament, will address the nation on television at around 9 p.m. (1400 GMT), his chief of staff told Reuters.

Somchai returned to Thailand from an Asia-Pacific summit to find tempers flaring across the country and threatening to explode into civil unrest.

A gang of government supporters in the northern city of Chiang Mai shot dead an anti-government activist on Wednesday, the first serious violence outside Bangkok.

By Nopporn Wong-Anan, Reuters
Wednesday, November 26, 2008; 9:39 AM

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Pakistan: Bomb Kills Tribal Elders Meeting to Take on Taliban, al-Qaeda

November 6, 2008

A bomb has killed at least nine people and wounded nearly 40 at a gathering of tribal elders in the Pakistani tribal area of Bajaur, hospital staff say.

The bomb went off when the tribal elders were gathering to draw up a plan to drive militants out of their area as part of a government anti-Taleban plan.




Bajaur is a crucial hub for insurgents, with access routes to Afghanistan and the rest of Pakistan.

Hospital staff say they expect the number of casualties to increase.

Officials say that the bomb – detonated by remote control – targeted members of the Salarzai tribe as they were discussing ways to evict the Taleban from their area. They say that a senior tribal elder, Sazlal Karim, was among the dead.

Targeting elders

In a separate incident on Thursday, officials said that at least four suspected militants were killed in aerial bombing by Pakistani jets in Bajaur.

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KHAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed 10 people and wounded 30 when he blew himself up at a meeting of ethnic Pashtun tribal leaders in northwest Pakistan‘s Bajaur area on the Afghan border on Thursday, government officials said.

Pakistani security forces are fighting Islamist al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Bajaur and authorities are encouraging tribesmen to raise militias to force militants from the region.

The bombing took place as about 200 men of the pro-government Salarzai tribe gathered in Batmalai village, 20 km (12 miles) north of Khar, for a jirga, or tribal council, to draw up a plan to drive militants out of their area, the officials said.

“The bomber walked up to the jirga and set off explosives strapped to his body. Ten people were killed,” a senior government official in Khar, the main town in the region, told Reuters by telephone.

Another government official, Jameel Khan, said 30 people were wounded in the blast.

Pakistani troops patrol in the troubled Bajaur region in September ... 
Pakistani troops patrol in the troubled Bajaur region in September 2008. Ten people were killed and 45 injured when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up at a gathering of tribesmen in Bajaur — a Pakistani region known as a Taliban safe haven.(AFP/File/Aamir Qureshi)

Tribal elder Kamal Khan said: “We don’t know how and when he got there. We just heard a blast and then people started running here and there.”


It was the second attack on a tribal council meeting in less than a month and the latest attack in an intensifying campaign by militants that has raised fears for Pakistan, a nuclear-armed U.S. ally which is also struggling with an economic crisis.

A suicide car bomber attacked a meeting in the Orakzai region, south of Bajaur, on October 10 killing more than 50 people and wounding more than 100.

Tribal elder Kamal Khan said their drive against the militants would go on.

“This bombing won’t deter us but will make us more committed to drive out the miscreants,” he said.

The military says more than 1,500 militants have been killed in fighting in Bajaur since August. There is no independent verification of the military’s casualty estimate.

Separately, authorities released a Taliban militant commander and three of his comrades in exchange for the release of 10 soldiers abducted by militants near the northwestern town of Hangu, a government official said.

In another incident, militants fired five rockets at the airport in the main northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday night but there were no casualties, police said.

Three of the rockets fell on empty land near the airport. The other two landed inside the airport perimeter but caused no damage, they said.

(Additional reporting by Mian Saeed-ur-Rehman; Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel and Paul Tait)


Deadly blasts rock Indian state

October 30, 2008

At least 64 people have been killed in a series of bomb explosions in India’s north-eastern state of Assam, the police say.

By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta
More than 160 others were injured in at least 18 blasts, the majority of them in the state capital, Guwahati.

The separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) denied any role in the blasts and blamed Indian “occupation forces” for engineering them.

Security forces have been fighting separatist rebels in Assam for decades.

The explosions in Guwahati and the towns of Kokrajhar, Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon occurred within an hour after 1100 local time (0530 GMT).

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Relaxed lifestyles show Baghdad extremists waning

October 29, 2008

Engineering student Haifaa Salman has discarded the Islamic head cover she started wearing two years ago after militants threatened to “punish” her if she kept showing up at college with her hair uncovered.

“I was forced to wear it,” the 22-year-old says, recalling the day in 2006 when two men on a motorbike stopped her outside campus to deliver the threat. But, she adds, “It’s different now. Life is normal again. College women wear what they please. The extremist groups are gone.”

By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer

People walk through the bustling Shorja open air market in Baghdad, ... 
People walk through the bustling Shorja open air market in Baghdad, Iraq, on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2008.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

The decision by some women to shun the Islamic head cover, or hijab, is just one of the signs that Baghdad residents are growing increasingly confident in the past year’s security gains.

Children with backpacks can be seen walking to school. Sidewalk cafes remain open after dark. Families stroll through parks in the sunset.

But after five years of violence, many people are hesitant.

“Things are much better now,” said Ziad Mohammed, a 49-year-old government employee who lives in Karkh, a mainly Sunni Arab district on the west bank of the Tigris.

“But fear is still inside me,” he added. “I want to get rid of it. Maybe it will happen next year.”

For now, Mohammed continues to escort his children to school and picks them up because he fears they could be kidnapped.

Baghdad remains a very dangerous place, and much of the capital looks like a city at war.

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Iraqis are Being Attacked and Killed for Returning to Their Homes; Time Has Moved But Hatred Has Stayed

October 14, 2008

By Corinne Reilly, McClatchy Newspapers 

BAGHDAD — Haj Ali’s family had been home for less than a month when a makeshift bomb blew off part of his garage. The message was clear: Go back to wherever you came from.

Two years ago, when Sunni Muslims began killing Shiites in Ali’s west Baghdad neighborhood, he quickly gathered a few belongings and fled. Last month, his family returned home. They didn’t stay long.
Children smile as they look at a U.S. army soldier on a patrol ... 
Children smile as they look at a U.S. army soldier on a patrol with the Iraqi police in Baghdad’s Ameen district, October 14, 2008.(Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters)

“We thought it was safe,” Ali said. “Now I see that for us, home means death. There are still people who don’t want us there.”

Only a small fraction of the roughly 5 million Iraqis who’ve fled their neighborhoods in fear since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion have returned, although returns have picked up since the Iraqi government last month began urging people home.

In Baghdad , where most of the sectarian cleansing has taken place, about 8 percent of the people who moved within the country have gone back to their neighborhoods, according to the International Organization for Migration .

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Danger Ahead for the Most Dangerous Place in the World: Pakistan

October 9, 2008

By Sumit Ganguly
The Washington Post
Sunday, October 12, 2008

Here’s an alarming thought: Pakistan is in even scarier shape than most of the so-called experts are willing to admit.

This nuclear-armed state of 168 million is no stranger to political upheaval, of course. But this time, things are different. Today’s crisis — marked by a rash of suicide bombings, the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto last December, inflation as high as 25 percent and a resurgent Taliban movement — could spell doom for the Pakistani state. The global financial crisis has only made matters worse: Pakistan’s foreign-exchange reserves are collapsing, and credit markets are worried that it could soon default on its debt payments. The grim truth is that Pakistan is becoming something alarmingly close to a failed state. And that could have disastrous consequences for the United States, NATO and Afghanistan’s struggle to hold back its own Taliban insurgency.

A Pakistani police officer tries to keep media away from the ...
A Pakistani police officer tries to keep media away from the site of an explosion in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday Oct. 9, 2008. An explosives-laden vehicle blew up an anti-terrorist squad building and wounded at least four people Thursday in a police complex in Pakistan’s capital just moments after a man delivered sweets to the facility, officials said.(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti )

True, Pakistan does have a newly elected president, Asif Ali Zardari, but let’s not kid ourselves about his ability (or even desire) to turn his country around. During his last stint in office (as minister of investment in the government led by his late wife, Bhutto), Zardari became known as “Mr. Ten Percent” for his alleged propensity to skim funds from lucrative government contracts. And Zardari’s likely replacement, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, may be even more corrupt and incompetent.

Simply put, Pakistan is facing an existential crisis — on its streets and in its courts, barracks….

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Missile strike kills 16 as Pakistan unrest grows

March 16, 2008

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – A missile strike in Pakistan‘s tribal belt killed 16 people Sunday, witnesses and state media said, a day after a bomb targeting foreigners at an Islamabad restaurant left a Turkish woman dead.

Pakistani policemen and journalists gather after a bomb blast ...
Pakistani policemen and journalists gather after a bomb blast at a restaurant in Islamabad. A missile strike in Pakistan’s tribal belt killed 16 people, witnesses and state media said, a day after a bomb targeting foreigners at an Islamabad restaurant left a Turkish woman dead.(AFP/Farooq Naeem)

The deteriorating security in nuclear-armed Pakistan, a key ally in the US-led “war on terror”, piles pressure on the incoming government which is set to be sworn in when the country’s new parliament meets on Monday.

With the country on alert after Saturday evening’s blast at an Italian eatery in the capital, one of several missiles fired into the South Waziristan tribal region slammed into a suspected militant compound, residents said.

Foreigners linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were believed to be staying at the compound in Doog village. Residents said they heard a series of explosions.

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Americans Bombed In Pakistan Violence

March 15, 2008

Message from Muhammad in Pakistan, March 16, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,I hope you and your team will be alright.

At the moment there is complete choas in Pakistan as terrorists have been making last-ditch effort to assert their authority. Besides declaring government in Bajaur Agency tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan they have carried suicide blast in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

Reports gathered from various sources revealed blast at an Italian restaurant in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Saturday appears to have killed at least two people and wounded 15.

A foreign woman was one of the dead. A witness told newsmen the explosion occurred in a garden dining area at the rear of the Luna Caprese restaurant, which is frequented by expatriates, including diplomats, aid agency workers, and journalists.
Pakistani volunteers unload an injured victim of a bomb explosion ... 
Pakistani volunteers unload an injured victim of a bomb explosion from a police van at a local hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan Saturday, March 15, 2008. A bomb apparently killed at least two people and wounded nine others Saturday at an Italian restaurant popular with foreigners in Pakistan’s capital, police said.(AP Photo)

A police official said a blast hit a restaurant frequented by foreigners in the federal capital.

“There was an explosion inside the Luna Caprese Italian restaurant in the centre of the capital in Supermarket area,” police official Mohammad Ishtiaq told AFP. 

An AFP photographer at the scene said several of the injured who were stretchered out of the restaurant were foreigners. Witnesses also confirmed casualties.

“There are lots of injured people who have lost their limbs and legs, foreigners were inside. It’s a very bad situation. We don’t know what has happened,” an employee at the restaurant said.

Pakistan volunteers remove a foreigner injured victim at the ...
Pakistan volunteers remove a foreigner injured victim at the site of bomb explosion in Islamabad, Pakistan Saturday, March 15, 2008. Photo from the Associated Press.

“It was a very powerful blast. There is a lot of blood here, the walls are splattered with it. I see lots of human flesh,” the employee said.

According to another report, two persons including a US female citizen have died and over 15 others have injured in Islamabad blast on Saturday evening.

A US female citizen identified as Ellen, who was nurse at the US embassy was killed in the blast.Three US citizens and including two doctors and a Chinese citizen included among the citizens. The majority of injured is reportedly foreigners, the sources added.

The blast occurred in the backside of an Italian restaurant “Luna Caprese” near Super market, the sources said. Over 15 injured including foreigners have been shifted to hospitals.

Nature of the blast, which happened at about 850PM is yet to be ascertained.

Dear Sir, situation is very very critical.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan
Injured foreign nationals wait for ambulances at the site of ... 
Injured foreign nationals wait for ambulances at the site of bomb explosion in Islamabad, Pakistan Saturday, March 15, 2008. A bomb killed two people and wounded nine others Saturday at an Italian restaurant popular with foreigners in Pakistan’s capital, police said.(AP Photo)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A bomb exploded in the back garden of an Italian restaurant popular with foreigners in Pakistan’s capital Saturday night, killing two people and wounding nine, police said.

It appeared to be the first attack targeting foreigners in a recent wave of violence.

Police have not determined whether the bomb was planted in the Luna Caprese’s back garden, or whether a suicide bomber attacked the restaurant, said police officer Irshad Abro. Two people were killed and nine hurt, he said.

Related (From March 16, 2008):
Pakistan: Restaurant Bombing Saturday Injured Several Americans

Blasts push Pakistan toward new policy

March 11, 2008
By ASIF SHAHZAD, Associated Press Writer

LAHORE, Pakistan – The spread of terrorism across Pakistan Tuesday from its unruly tribal regions to the cultural capital of Lahore has added to pressure to rethink its U.S.-allied president’s approach to countering al-Qaida and the Taliban as a new government prepares to take office.

After two deadly suicide bombings in this normally peaceful eastern city, pressure grew for more dialogue with militants and less punitive military action, which President Pervez Musharraf‘s opponents say has only fueled the violence.

A Pakistani firefighter shouts in front of burning vehicles ...
A Pakistani firefighter shouts in front of burning vehicles after the bomb explosion beside the badly damaged building of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Lahore. Suicide attackers detonated two huge truck bombs in Pakistan Tuesday, killing 26 people, partly demolishing a police building and deepening a security crisis facing the new government.(AFP/Sameed Qureshi)

At least 24 people were killed and more than 200 wounded Tuesday when massive explosions ripped through a police headquarters and a business located near a house belonging to the widower of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

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Pakistan: Explosion in Lahore; Aussies Cancel Cricket Tour

March 11, 2008

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) – Police in Pakistan say an explosion has hit an office of the federal police in the eastern city of Lahore. State media are reporting that several people have been wounded.

A wounded man is treated at a hospital in Peshawar, after a ... 

City police official Mohammed Khalid says the blast hit an office of the Federal Investigation Agency in downtown Lahore on Tuesday. He says it remains unclear what caused the explosion.

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Australia Cancels Cricket Trip to Pakistan

By Shahid Hashmi

KARACHI (AFP) – Australia have scrapped their upcoming cricket tour to Pakistan over security fears, their cricket boards said in a statement Tuesday, after bombs killed 20 people in the eastern city of Lahore.

“I  can confirm they have conveyed to us that they have cancelled the tour. We are disappointed and we are issuing a policy statement soon,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Shafqat Nagmi told AFP.

The tour was due to begin on March 29 and Lahore was one of the venues where Australia were due to play.

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