Archive for April, 2011

At least 30 killed, 100 wounded in twin blasts at Dera Ghazi Khan shrine

April 3, 2011

UpdateBombs kill 42 at shrine in Pakistan | Los Angeles Times | April 3, 2011, 11:16 a.m. Reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan— Two suicide bombers killed at least 42 people at a shrine in central Pakistan on Sunday, the latest in a series of attacks on places of worship linked to sects opposed by militants.

The blasts took place at the Sakhi Sarwar shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan – (File Photo)

 

‘Fatal’ blasts at Pakistan Sufi Sakhi Sarwar shrine

BBC || 3 April 2011 Last updated at 13:57 GMT

A Muslim shrine in Pakistan has been hit by two explosions, with unconfirmed reports of casualties.

Officials told reporters at least five people had been killed and 30 more injured in the blasts at a shrine in the Dera Ghazi Khan district of Punjab.

Initial reports said the explosions struck a shrine belonging to Sufis – a minority branch of Islam regarded as heretical by hardliners. Militants attacked another Sufi shrine last year, killing six people.

The latest blasts hit near the Sakhi Sarwar shrine, and devotees were reportedly among the dead and wounded. Thousands of people had been marking the annual festival of Urs at the time of the blasts.

There is no indication of who carried out the attack, although one official said he suspected suicide bombers.

Dawn reports from Multan :

MULTAN: An emergency official says the death toll from a pair of suicide bombings at a shrine in Pakistan has risen to 30.

Thousands of people were visiting the shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan district in Punjab when the bombers struck Sunday.

Emergency coordinator Natiq Hayat says 30 people have been killed and 100 wounded.

Militants believe visiting shrines is against the spirit of Islam and have carried out such attacks in the recent past.

Courtesy: BBC | DAWN.


Pak Islamist leader escapes 2nd attack in deadly blast, 12 killed 30 injured

April 3, 2011

The JUI-F chief indirectly blamed the United States and ‘some other elements’ for the attacks. — File Photo

Pak Islamist leader Fazl escapes second attack in two days

Islamabad:  Fri Apr 01 2011 || Pakistan’s hardline JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had a narrow escape for the second day in a row on Thursday, when a suicide bomber targeted his motorcade in the country’s restive northwest, killing at least 12 people and injuring over 30 others. The Maulana escaped unhurt anyway.

The JUI-F chief indirectly blamed the US and ‘some other elements’ for the attacks because, he said, they were unhappy with his criticism of their policies and actions.

“Apparently I was the target; the attackers sprayed my vehicle with bullets,” he told reporters at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where he had gone to visit the injured.

“Who is behind these attacks? I don’t know,” he said in reply to a question.

“I am opposing drone attacks, criticising the release of Raymond Davis and US policies and raising voice for the release of Aafia Siddiqui, which are not acceptable to some people.”

The US embassy condemned the attack. “We offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” said a statement issued in Islamabad.

A security official said the JUI-F leader had been warned about an assassination plot during his speech at a public meeting in Dera Ismail Khan but the warning was ignored.

“We are working on the group behind the threat to the Maulana in Dera Ismail Khan but it is premature to say anything now,” the official said. “The Maulana has long been on the hit list of the terrorists and he knows it.”

He said a suicide bomber wanted to attack Maulana Fazl in Swabi on Wednesday but security personnel stopped him on suspicion and he blew himself up.

He said he had seen several policemen who were injured by the blast.

Rehman cancelled his meeting in Charsadda after the blast.

A car in which senior JUI leaders Akram Khan Durrani and Azam Swati were travelling too was damaged in the attack, though they escaped unhurt.

Footage on television showed several cars that were damaged by the blast. The walls of a nearby mosque were pitted by ball bearings that were packed into the bomber’s explosive vest.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far.

Rehman escaped an attempt on his life on Wednesday as well when a suicide attacker tried to target his motorcade at Swabi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. That attack killed 10 people, including two policemen.

The attacks have surprised political observers as the JUI is perceived as being pro-Taliban.

Rehman has repeatedly called on the federal government to halt military operations against the militants.

Rehman told the media on Thursday that he had not received any threats. He refused to say who could be behind the two attempts on his life.

The bomber struck just after the motorcade of 57-year-old Rehman, a member of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament, entered Charsadda town in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where he was to address a gathering at Darul Uloom Islamia seminary.

The powerful blast occurred near a government office and a private school, witnesses said.

“Twelve people, including two members of Rehman’s security detail and a woman, were killed while over 30 others, including policemen and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) workers, were injured”, officials said.

“I am fine. There was a powerful explosion near my car and the windscreen was shattered. Another car in my motorcade was damaged,” Rehman told the media.

Courtesy : Indian Express | Dawn News.