Archive for November 5th, 2010

Suicide bomb attack on Friday prayer kills at least 50, hurt 100 in Darra Adam Khel Mosque

November 5, 2010

  • A local official said 11 children were among the dead
  • The roof of the mosque collapsed with the force of the explosion

At least 50 killed in blast in Darra Adam Khel

Friday 5th November 2010 | Ziqa’ad 27, 1431|| Source : Dawn News, AFP.

PESHAWAR: A suicide bomb tore through a Pakistani mosque during weekly prayers on Friday, killing 50 people and bringing down the roof, trapping victims under pulverised rubble.

The attack in the volatile northwest was the deadliest in two months. Dozens of people were critically wounded and officials feared the toll could rise.

The carnage wrought havoc in Akhurwall village, part of the semi-tribal northwest area of Darra Adam Khel about 140 kilometres west of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

A local official said 11 children were among the dead and television footage showed villagers digging graves within hours of the attack, determined to bury the dead in keeping with Muslim custom before nightfall.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, a local elder blamed the Taliban and suggested that the bombers could have been targeting members of a pro-government militia set up to thwart the extremists.

“The number of dead is 50 now. There is a possibility it might rise further,” local administration official Gul Jamal Khan told AFP.

“The number of wounded is more than 100. The dead include 11 children. Some of the bodies are beyond recognition.”

Shahid Ullah, district administration chief of the northwestern garrison town of Kohat, said earlier that more than 40 people had been killed, but warned that the death toll was likely to rise.

“More than 70 are wounded and most of them are in a critical condition and have been taken to hospital.”

Ambulances and private volunteers rushed to take the victims to hospital in Peshawar, the main city in the northwest.

Television footage showed an elderly bearded man wearing a traditional white shalwar khamis drenched in blood limping into casualty while a woman shrieking in grief beat her hands against her head.

A private car sped up to the main Lady Reading Hospital with a volunteer sitting next to a body in the boot.

Khalid Umarzai, a regional administrator, said the bomber entered the mosque from the back during the main prayers.

“The roof of the mosque collapsed,” he told Geo television. “It was a suicide attack.”

Local tribal elder Sohbat Khan Afridi blamed the Taliban, saying Akhurwall is the home of Wali Mohammad, who formed a tribal militia in 2007 to rise up against the militants.

The Taliban and the militia, which is known locally as a lashkar, clashed repeatedly in the area but this year reached some kind of compromise in which blood money was paid to the Taliban, Afridi said.

“Taliban are believed to be involved in this attack,” he said, declining to go into further details on the alleged deal.

Umarzai suggested the attack could have been retaliation for military operations in the Darra Adam Khel area targeting militants.

“An operation is going on by the army and Frontier Corps (paramilitary) in the Darra Adam Khel area. We had been expecting such attacks.”

Around 3,800 people have been killed in suicide attacks and bombings, blamed on homegrown Taliban and other extremist networks, since government troops stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad three years ago. – AFP

Courtesy :

Important reading : Attacking shrines and the culture of peace.

by  Husham Ahmed

Plane crashes in Karachi :: Ban on carrying arms in Karachi during next 48 hours

November 5, 2010

Rescuers and airport security personnel gather at an aircraft crash site in Karachi on November 5. — Photo by AFP

Charter plane crashes in Karachi, no survivors

Source : DAWN.COM ||Friday 5th November 2010 | Ziqa’ad 27, 1431

KARACHI: A small plane with at least 21 people on board chartered to international oil company ENI crashed after taking off from the Karachi airport on Friday, killing all on board, an aviation official said.

The plane came down near the COD (Central Ordinance Depot) area of the Karachi airport, bursting into flames DawnNews reported

Pervez George, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority, said the aircraft crashed near a military ordnance depot at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport due to a technical fault soon after taking off.

He added it was en route to an oil field near Bhit Shah in Sindh province, some 190 km northeast of Karachi.

“When it took off, just after one minute, the pilot contacted the control tower saying that there was a fault in one of the engines. He was asked to return, but as it was turning back, it crashed,” George told Reuters.

He said there were 19 passengers and two crew on board. At least 12 bodies have been recovered so far. Aviation officials said there was at least one foreigner on board.

“The plane has been destroyed,” said Lt. Colonel Noor Agha, an army official supervising rescue operations.

“The dead bodies are burned beyond recognition. It could not be recognised whether they are men or women. We don’t know nationalities.”

Civil aviation officials said the small aircraft was chartered by oil company ENI, which is based in Italy. No one from the company was responding to phone calls and the nationalities of those killed were not immediately available.

Karachi is Pakistan’s business and economic capital. It is a teeming city of 16 million on the south coast with an Arabian Sea port where Nato supplies dock in preparation for travel overland to soldiers in Afghanistan.

Plane crashes are relatively rare in Pakistan, an enormous country of around 170 million people where inter-city travel is most efficient by air.

On July 28, a passenger Airbus 321 jet operated by Airblue crashed into hills of the Islamabad while coming into land after a flight from Karachi, killing 152 people on board.

Two Americans, an Austrian-born businessman, five children and two babies were among those killed in the worst aviation tragedy on Pakistani soil.

The only deadlier civilian plane crash involving a Pakistani jet occurred when a PIA Airbus A300 crashed into a cloud-covered hillside as it approached the Nepalese capital Kathmandu in 1992, killing 167 people. —Agencies

It is not known yet, wether it is a case of terroist attact or a simple accident took place unfortunately.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik. — Photo by AP

Ban on carrying arms in Karachi during next 48 hours

Source : Dawn News||Friday 5th November 2010 | Ziqa’ad 27, 1431

KARACHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said the demise of Imran Farooq was a national loss and that he was with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in this tragic time.

Speaking to media representatives after a meeting to oversee the law and order situation for Imran Farooq’s funeral, he said security measures were being taken to avoid any untoward incident.

“We have two options to move Dr Farooq’s body from the airport to the graveyard. His body could be shifted via air or land but the option cannot be disclosed for the moment due to security concerns,” Malik said.

Sindh’s Interior Minister Zulfiqar Mirza was also present on the occasion.

A ban had also been imposed on carrying arms during the next 48 hours in Karachi.

Moreover, Karachi Traders Action Committee announced that all markets and commercial centres were to remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.