Archive for the ‘journalists’ Category

American Media, Journalists Stampede to Love Obama; Healthy?

November 18, 2008

Perhaps it was the announcement that NBC News is coming out with a DVD titled “Yes We Can: The Barack Obama Story.” Or that ABC and USA Today are rushing out a book on the election. Or that HBO has snapped up a documentary on Obama’s campaign.

Perhaps it was the Newsweek commemorative issue — “Obama’s American Dream” — filled with so many iconic images and such stirring prose that it could have been campaign literature. Or the Time cover depicting Obama as FDR, complete with jaunty cigarette holder.

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 17, 2008; C01

Are the media capable of merchandizing the moment, packaging a president-elect for profit? Yes, they are.

What’s troubling here goes beyond the clanging of cash registers. Media outlets have always tried to make a few bucks off the next big thing. The endless campaign is over, and there’s nothing wrong with the country pulling together, however briefly, behind its new leader. But we seem to have crossed a cultural line into mythmaking.

“The Obamas’ New Life!” blares People’s cover, with a shot of the family. “New home, new friends, new puppy!” Us Weekly goes with a Barack quote: “I Think I’m a Pretty Cool Dad.” The Chicago Tribune trumpets that Michelle “is poised to be the new Oprah and the next Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — combined!” for the fashion world.

Whew! Are journalists fostering the notion that Obama is invincible, the leader of what the New York Times dubbed “Generation O”?

Each writer, each publication, seems to reach for more eye-popping superlatives. “OBAMAISM — It’s a Kind of Religion,” says New York magazine. “Those of us too young to have known JFK’s Camelot are going to have our own giddy Camelot II to enrapture and entertain us,” Kurt Andersen writes. The New York Post has already christened it “BAM-A-LOT.”

“Here we are,” writes Salon’s Rebecca Traister, “oohing and aahing over what they’ll be wearing, and what they’ll be eating, what kind of dog they’ll be getting, what bedrooms they’ll be living in, and what schools they’ll be attending. It feels better than good to sniff and snurfle through the Obamas’ tastes and habits. . . . Who knew we had in us the capacity to fall for this kind of idealized Americana again?”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/16
/AR2008111602374_pf.html

The Meltdown of the American Media

November 5, 2008

More than the economy has melted down. What remains of big media credibility has also liquefied and won’t recover anytime soon, if it ever does.

Don’t take my word for it. The ombudsman for The Washington Post acknowledges that conservatives have a point when they claim an imbalance in coverage of Barack Obama and John McCain.

By Cal Thomas
The Washington Times
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In her Nov. 2 column, Deborah Howell writes, “…it’s true that The Post, as well as much of the national news media, has written more stories and more favorable stories about Barack Obama than John McCain. Editors have their reasons for this, but conservatives are right that they often don’t see their views reflected enough in the news pages.”

What might be “their reasons”? There is only one answer: Too many journalists have been in the tank for Mr. Obama and wanted to see him elected president. Some Post reporters (Ms. Howell doesn’t say how many) “complained to me that suggestions for issues coverage have been turned aside” in favor of horse-race coverage, despite reader complaints about too much coverage of the race itself and not enough of the candidates’ positions on the issues.

Journalism is the only profession I know that ignores the wishes of its consumers. If a department store found that most of its customers preferred over-the-calf socks to ankle-length socks, would that store ignore customer preferences for the longer socks because the president of the company preferred the ankle-length style? Not if the store wanted to make a profit in the sock department. Yet journalists have this attitude: “we know what’s good for you, so shut up and take it.”

Ms. Howell calls this arrogance….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/05/media-meltdown/

What We Know About Pakistan’s War Against Terrorists Comes Mostly From Pakistan’s Government

October 18, 2008

One problem with Pakistan’s war against terrorists including al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the Tribal Areas is Pakistan’s set of self imposed restrictions on journalists and foreigners.  Like China, Vietnam and other “closed” societies, Pakistan has decided that what you know about the tribal areas will come only from the Government of Pakistan.  This is why we at Peace and Freedom have ventured into the region and why we so highly value the contributions of Muhammad Khurshid, now fired from his job as a newspaper journalist in Pakistan and “lost” somewhere in the tribal region….

Troops backed by helicopter gunships and artillery pounded militant positions in northwest Pakistan, killing 60 fighters and wounding many others, the military said Saturday.

From the Assoaciated Press

Pakistani soldiers patrol the Najia mountains in the Swat valley. ... 

The assault happened Friday evening in the Swat valley shortly before a senior U.S. official arrived in Pakistan for talks with leaders of a country vital to Western security concerns.

Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher held talks in Islamabad on Saturday morning with Pakistan’s Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik and was expected to meet other leaders later in the day. He made no public comment.

U.S. officials, concerned about rising militancy in both nuclear-armed Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, have praised Pakistani efforts to clear Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds near its northwestern frontier.

But militants are mounting stiff resistance including a string of suicide attacks that could fan widespread Pakistani concern that they are paying too high a price for their front-line role in the U.S.-led war on terror.

An army statement said Friday’s offensive killed at least 60 militants and wounded many more near the town of Matta.

It was not immediately possible to independently confirm the casualties. Reporters cannot visit the area because of poor security and government restrictions….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081018/ap_
on_re_as/as_pakistan_3

Supporters of Pakistani Islamist parties burn a U.S. flag, during ... 
Supporters of Pakistani Islamist parties burn a U.S. flag, during a protest rally against U.S. strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghanistan border, in Lahore October 17, 2008.REUTERS/Mohsin Raza (PAKISTAN)

Pakistan Charges American With Illegal Entry, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

(CNN) — Pakistani authorities have charged an American being held in Pakistan’s tribal region with illegal entry and illegal possession of a weapon, the State Department said Friday.

Juddi Kenan Mohamed was arrested Monday at a checkpoint in the northern district of Mohmand near Peshawar as he was trying to enter the area, said Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

Mohamed was carrying a U.S. passport and said he was traveling to see a friend in the tribal area near the Afghanistan border, Haqqani said. However, he was detained because all foreigners are required to have a permit to enter such areas.

There is no evidence Mohamed poses a security risk, Haqqani said.

Gordon Duguid, a State Department spokesman, said the U.S. consul general visited Mohamed in Islamabad on Tuesday and is seeking another visit.

The United States is providing “all possible assistance” to Mohamed, including helping him find a lawyer, Duguid said.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/10/17/
pakistan.american/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Human Rights and Journalists Under Siege in Vietnam, Russia, China and Elsewhere

October 16, 2008

Vietnam has tried, convicted and jailed  reporters for several reasons.  Just this week, reporter Nguyen Viet Chien from the Thanh Nien newspaper was sent to jail by Hanoi’s people court.  He wrote stories about government corruption.   During the Beijing Olympics, China instituted temporary Olympics-related regulations that guaranteed reporting freedoms for foreign media — but these freedoms did not apply to Chinese journalists. In Russia, according to Human Rights watch, journalists and human rights activists are under siege.  “Human rights activists and journalists are the ones who bring to the public’s attention the failure of governments to live up to their promises of justice and rights protection made in national law and their obligations under international human rights treaties,” Amnesty International said. 
Reporter Nguyen Viet Chien from the Thanh Nien newspaper at ... 
Reporter Nguyen Viet Chien from the Thanh Nien newspaper at Hanoi’s people court. Chien was sentenced to two years in prison for his coverage of a major state corruption scandal and also jailed his police source for one year.(AFP)

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Amnesty International: On Russia

Recent attacks on independent journalists and human rights activists illustrate the risks under which they work in Russia, Amnesty International said on the eve of the second anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder. The organization urges the Russian authorities to end impunity for violence against human rights defenders and the media.

“Human rights activists and journalists are the ones who bring to the public’s attention the failure of governments to live up to their promises of justice and rights protection made in national law and their obligations under international human rights treaties,” Amnesty International said.

“However, it is the human rights activists and journalists in Russia who too often themselves face harassment by the authorities and even become victims of human rights abuses themselves.”

In a country where TV and many other media outlets are controlled by the state, there is less and less space for independent reporting. Those journalists who attempt to report independently are obstructed from conducting their professional work and they may face intimidation and possibly prosecution. For example, the radio station Ekho Moskvy was repeatedly asked to provide transcripts of their programmes to the prosecutor’s office in relation to preliminary investigations into allegations that they had aired extremists’ views.

The space to express critical views in the Russian Federation has been gradually and progressively curtailed in recent years.

“Two years after the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, human rights activists and journalists are still at risk in the Russian Federation, in particular in the North Caucasus region. They may be abducted and tortured, have their property attacked, receive death threats or killed in suspicious circumstances,” Amnesty International said.

Anna Politkovskaya was murdered on 7 October 2006 in the centre of Moscow. Two years after the killing, three people accused of involvement in the crime are in detention, but her murderer is still at large and there has been no independent investigation into those who may have ordered the killing.

“Anna Politkovskaya was one of those courageous people who tirelessly stand up for those who have suffered human rights violations. She was in all likelihood killed because of this,” Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International urges the Russian authorities to ensure on all levels that justice will be done in regard to her murder and to demonstrate clearly that there is no impunity for attacks on human rights defenders and journalists. The human rights organization will continue to follow the case closely and will continue to call for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders in the Russian Federation.

Cases

The disputed killing in police custody of Magomed Evloev, owner of an independent Ingush website, on 31 August 2008, needs to be investigated with utmost impartiality, to ensure that the circumstances under which he died are brought to light and that those who are responsible for his death are charged and tried in accordance with the law.

On 25 July 2008, human rights defender Zurab Tsechoev, working for the human rights organization MASHR (peace) in Ingushetia, was taken away from his home in Troitskaia, Ingushetia by armed men, thought to be federal law enforcement officials. A couple of hours later he was found on a roadside near Magas, the capital of Ingushetia, with serious injuries. He had to be hospitalized. Amnesty International calls for the perpetrators of this act against Zurab Tsechoev to be identified and to be brought to justice.

Late on 1 August 2008, an arson attack was allegedly made on the flat of human rights defender Dmitrii Kraiukhin from the town of Orel in the Central Russian Federal District. The arsonists had also allegedly tried to block the entrance door. Luckily, Dmitrii Kraiukhin was reportedly not in the flat, but his relatives who were, were able to alert the fire brigade in time. So far, to Amnesty International’s knowledge, no criminal investigation into this case has been undertaken, as the authorities allegedly considered the damage too insignificant to warrant a criminal investigation. However, this is not an isolated incident as far as threats to Dmitrii Kraiukhin are concerned.

On 14 August 2008, unknown assailants threw a brick through the window of the flat in Nizhnii Novgorod where human rights activist Stanislav Dmitrievskii lives. Luckily, nobody was hurt. At the same time, the entrance of his apartment building was covered with abusive language and threats against Stanislav Dmitrievskii. A criminal investigation into this attack has been opened.

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Human Rights Watch: On China

The Chinese government should extend without limitation the temporary Olympics-related regulations that guarantee reporting freedoms for foreign media, and apply them to Chinese journalists, Human Rights Watch said today. The regulations are set to expire on October 17, 2008. The Chinese government should extend without limitation the temporary Olympics-related regulations that guarantee reporting freedoms for foreign media, and apply them to Chinese journalists, Human Rights Watch said today. The regulations are set to expire on October 17, 2008.

Official logo of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games

The temporary regulations were adopted in January 2007 as part of the Chinese government’s commitments to improve its human rights record, a key aspect of its 2001 bid to win the 2008 Summer Olympics. Human Rights Watch has documented the flawed implementation of these regulations, which were supposed to give foreign journalists greater freedom to travel and interview people across China, in two reports detailing the abuses and harassment of foreign correspondents.

Chinese government officials who have suggested that the regulations may be extended past October 17 include State Information Office Minister Cai Wu, who said in December 2007 that, “If practice shows that the regulation will help the international community to know China better, then it is a good policy in accordance with the country’s reforms and opening up.” Asked on October 7, 2008, about the likelihood of the regulations being extended, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Qin Gang stated: “China’s principle of opening up stays unchanged [after the Olympics].  “Foreign media and journalists are welcome to report in China as always.”

“While there were serious problems in implementing Olympics-related media freedom regulations, they did mark a new and much higher standard in Chinese law for reporting freedom,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “But keeping the regulations in effect and extending them to Chinese journalists would be one of the most important legacies of the Games.”

For more of Human Rights Watch’s work on media freedom in China, please see the following:

� October 11, 2008 op-ed by Phelim Kine in The Wall Street Journal, “Censorship Isn’t Good for China’s Health,” at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122368047325124731.html � August 2007 report, “‘You Will Be Harassed and Detained’: China Media Freedoms Under Assault Ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games,” at: http://hrw.org/reports/2007/china0807/ � July 2008 report, “China’s Forbidden Zones: Shutting the Media Out of Tibet and Other ‘Sensitive’ Stories ,” at: http://hrw.org/reports/2008/china0708/

Related:
Vietnam Convicts, Imprisons “Whisle Blowing”
Reporter Who Found Government Corruption

Vietnam journalists on trial for exposing state corruption

October 14, 2008

by Frank Zeller

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam on Tuesday put on trial two reporters who helped expose state corruption, in a case seen as a test on the limits of media freedom in the communist country.

A man sits reading a newspaper in downtown Hanoi on October ... 
A man sits reading a newspaper in downtown Hanoi on October 3. Vietnam on Tuesday put on trial two reporters who helped expose state corruption in a case seen as a test of media freedoms in the communist country.(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

The two newspaper journalists each face up to seven years in prison for “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state” in the Hanoi People’s Court hearing.

They helped expose a major graft scandal in a transport ministry unit, known as PMU 18, where officials pilfered development funds meant for roads and bridges and bet much of it on European football.

The aggressive reporting in a country where all media, and the courts, remain under the control of the one-party state was praised by foreign observers and spurred state promises of a major anti-corruption drive.

The scandal led to the resignation in 2006 of then transport minister Dao Dinh Binh and the arrest of his deputy, Nguyen Viet Tien, while eight PMU 18 officials were jailed last year for illegal gambling and corruption.

The case, however, took an unexpected turn when Tien was freed from prison last October and cleared of all charges in March.

In May police arrested the two journalists — Nguyen Van Hai, 33, of the Tuoi Tre (Youth) daily, and Nguyen Viet Chien, 56, of the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper — initially accusing them of “abuse of power.”

On trial with them are two senior police officers accused of feeding them information….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081014/wl_asia_afp/vietnam
justicemediacorruption_081014072610

China Highlighting Its Brutal Side

March 22, 2008

Letter to the Editor;
The Washington Times

In reference to the article “Tibet called plot to ruin Olympics” (World, Wednesday),it is dismaying to see China’s government lay blame and trample media freedoms so close to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Chinese paramilitary policemen patrol along a street in Kangding ...
Chinese paramilitary policemen patrol along a street in Kangding county in Sichuan province. China turned its back on appeals for dialogue with the Dalai Lama, vowing to smash anti-China forces in Tibet, where it said the death toll in recent unrest had risen to 19.(AFP/Teh Eng Koon)

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The government has done everything possible to suppress the internal flow of information on its crackdown in Tibet, including shutting down China’s YouTube Web site and the access of journalists, both foreign and domestic, to Tibet.
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Chinese journalist Hu Jia arrested last year without trial has been trotted out to have his day in court, or rather to provide a display that will surely intimidate other disobedient journalists.
China human rights defender Hu Jia, pictured in 2007, went on ... 
China human rights defender Hu Jia, pictured in 2007, went on trial in Beijing Tuesday, as the government scrambled to deflect global criticism of its human rights record amid a crackdown on protests in Tibet.(AFP/File/Frederic J. Brown)
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These events mark the last straw for the international organization Reporters Without Borders, which on March 18 called for a boycott of the Olympic Games.
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Indeed, the reach of Beijing’s media restrictions is not limited by national borders. Taiwan journalists are continually barred from covering international meetings such as the World Health Assembly due to China’s objections.
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Information about the proceedings in these meetings is crucial to Taiwan’s 23 million citizens, as their government applies to participate in the World Health Organization annually on their behalf.
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China cannot become a truly respected member of the international community until its government behaves like a worthwhile neighbor.
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PHILIP SHIH
Press officer
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office

Journalists Under Attack In Pakistan

March 19, 2008

By Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan
March 19, 2008
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Journalists were thrashed by the security officials in front of National Assembly of Pakistan as they were covering the proceedings of the assembly.

Police guard the main entrance of the National Assembly during ... 
Police guard the main entrance of the National Assembly during the election of its speaker in Islamabad March 19, 2008. Pakistan’s National Assembly elected its first woman speaker on Wednesday, a member of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) which won elections last month.
REUTERS/Mian Khursheed (PAKISTAN)
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Journalists working in tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border have also been receiving threats from Taliban and terrorists, who have been ruling the areas nowadays.

So far several journalists were either killed by the terrorists or the security agencies in the troubled tribal areas. Situation in other parts of the country is not different as there the journalists have been facing immense pressure.

The journalists started protesting outside the Parliament House, when the security personnel cut off cables of their cameras.

The journalists from various news organization including news channels came to cover the proceedings of the 13th National Assembly on the occasion of election of speaker.

Law and order situation in Pakistan has been going from bad to worst. According to a newspaper comment, rising street crime in Karachi has touched new heights. While official figures of crime in the city tell one story, the reality seems to be something much different.
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Police officials and senior government functionaries would have us believe that all is well and under control but incidents of mobile phone theft, mugging and burglaries in the city have shot up in the past couple of months. Particularly affected are the commercial areas of the city as well as the business districts where men on motorcycles accost pedestrians, motorcyclists and motorists in broad daylight and rob them of their valuables.
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The slightest resistance can lead to death for some as the robbers seem desperate and ready to kill if their demands are not met. In the past week, there have been several cases where people were stopped in broad daylight in full public view and robbed. In most instances, people do not bother to register cases as this is another ordeal for them.
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Pedestrians have been mugged in dark street corners, women have seen their earrings snatched from their ears and purses stolen, motorists have seen their cars broken into — and yet the police seem helpless in controlling this surge in street crime.

What is worrying is the fact that the government seems to be pumping considerable amount of money and resources in law-enforcement in the city but much of this does not end up in fighting crime. A high percentage of police resources are dedicated for VIP duties as well as protecting the high and mighty.
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The lack of professionalism and accountability in the police forces has also meant a rise in corruption and unprofessional behaviour amongst men who are supposed to enforce and uphold the law. As a new political government takes office in Sindh later this month, it would be a good idea to examine the role and performance of the city’s police force and other law-enforcing agencies like the Rangers.
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It is time long-term reforms were introduced in the police force to change the way the force is run. At the same time, the terms and conditions of service of policemen should be improved so that they are less prone to fall for corruption.
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All this, however, requires political commitment and resolve. The new chief minister must work according to the peoples’ expectations, otherwise people will continue to suffer while the police look the other way.

Bill Clinton Rejects Criticism Over Race

March 17, 2008

By Beth Fouhy, Associated Press 

NEW YORK (March 17) – Former President Clinton is pushing back on criticism that he fanned racial tension while campaigning for his wife in South Carolina.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” broadcast Monday, Clinton said he had gotten a “bum rap” from the news media after he compared Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s landslide victory in South Carolina’s Jan. 26 primary to Jesse Jackson’s wins in the state in 1984 and 1988. Clinton was widely criticized for appearing to cast Obama as little more than a black candidate popular in a state with a heavily black electorate.

“They made up a race story out of that,” Clinton said of the news media, calling the story “a bizarre spin.”

He made similar comments on CNN’s “American Morning,” calling the notion that he had unfairly criticized Obama in South Carolina as “a total myth and a mugging.”

While campaigning in South Carolina in January, Bill Clinton complained that Obama had put out a “hit job” on him. He didn’t explain what that meant.

At an MTV forum for college journalists Saturday, Clinton said he knew as soon as Obama won Iowa’s caucuses Jan. 3 that he was on his way to wrapping up a large majority of black voters in other primary states.

Read the rest:
http://news.aol.com/elections/story/_a/bill-clinton-rejects-criticism-over-race/20080317140909990002?ncid=NWS00010000000001

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

Understanding Real War Heroes

February 3, 2008

By James G. Zumwalt
The Washington Times
February 3, 2008

The battle raged for 17 hours — from day, to night, into day again. Ammunition and water ran low as the platoon was pinned down. An Afghan soldier was wounded. Absent surgery, he would die.

In an act demonstrative not only of courage but also of respect for the life of an allied Muslim soldier, the American platoon commander, Lt. Sean McQuade, ordered 12 men to carry the wounded Afghan down a rocky mountain slope as the remaining 20 men provided covering fire.

During the downhill movement, the wounded man was occasionally exposed to enemy fire, prompting medic Sgt. Jose Rivas to shield him with his own body as he tended to the soldier’s wounds. Eventually, a Black Hawk helicopter swooped in, resupplying the 20 platoon members holding the high ground before then picking up the wounded Afghan. Sgt. Rivas’ mission accomplished, he returned to rejoin the fight ….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080203/
COMMENTARY/902375035/1012