63 Dead After Suicide Bombers Attack Mosques in Afghanistan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

63 Dead After Suicide Bombers Attack Mosques in Afghanistan

2:46 PM ET

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Suicide bombers struck two mosques in Afghanistan during Friday prayers, a Shiite mosque in Kabul and a Sunni mosque in western Ghor province, killing at least 63 people at the end of a particularly deadly week for the troubled nation.

The Afghan president issued a statement condemning both attacks and saying that country’s security forces would step up the fight to “eliminate the terrorists who target Afghans of all religions and tribes.”

In the attack in Kabul, a suicide bomber walked into the Imam Zaman Mosque, a Shiite mosque in the western Dashte-e-Barchi neighborhood where he detonated his explosives vest, killing 30 and wounding 45, said Maj. Gen. Alimast Momand at the Interior Ministry.

The suicide bombing in Ghor province struck a Sunni mosque, also during Friday prayers and killed 33 people, including a warlord who was apparently the target of the attack, said Mohammad Iqbal Nizami, the spokesman for the provincial chief of police.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for either attack, the latest in a devastating week that saw Taliban attacks kill scores across the country.

In the Kabul attack, eyewitness Ali Mohammad said the mosque was packed with worshippers, both men and women praying at the height of the Muslim week. The explosion was so strong that it shattered windows on nearby buildings, he said.

Local residents who rushed to the scene to help the victims were overcome with anger and started chanting, “Death to ISIS”— a reference to the Islamic State group which has staged similar attacks on Shiite mosques in recent months.

Abdul Hussain Hussainzada, a Shiite community leader, said they are sure that Afghanistan’s IS affiliate was behind the attack. “Our community is very worried,” Hussainzada told The Associated Press.

Dasht-e-Barchi is a sprawling neighborhood in the west of Kabul where the majority of people are ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite Muslims, a minority in Afghanistan, which is a Sunni majority nation.

As attacks targeting Shiites have increased in Kabul, residents of this area have grown increasingly afraid. Most schools have additional armed guards from among the local population.

The so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan has taken responsibility for most of the attacks targeting Shiites, whom the Sunni extremist group considers to be apostates. Earlier this year, following an attack claimed by IS on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul, the militant group effectively declared war on Afghanistan’s Shiites, saying they would be the target of future attacks.

Several mosques have been attacked following this warning, killing scores of Shiite worshippers in Kabul and in western Herat province. Residents say attendance at local Shiite mosques in Kabul on Friday has dropped by at least one-third.

Hussainzada, the spiritual head of Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras, said the suicide bomber had positioned himself at the front of the prayer hall, standing with other men in the first of dozens of rows of worshippers before exploding his devise. He appeared to be Uzbek, added Hussainzada.

Members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan militant group, who are in Afghanistan in the hundreds, have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State affiliate, known as the Islamic State Khorasan Province — an ancient term for what today includes parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.

The attack on the Sunni mosque in Ghor province took place in the Do Laina district, according to Nizami, the police spokesman. Nizami says the target apparently was a local commander, Abdul Ahed, a former warlord who has sided with the government. Seven of his bodyguards were also killed in the bombing.

In his statement, President Ghani said the day’s attacks show that “the terrorists have once again staged bloody attacks but they will not achieve their evil purposes and sow discord among the Afghans.”

It has been a brutal week in Afghanistan, with more than 70 killed, mostly policemen and Afghan soldiers but also civilians as militant attacks have surged. The Taliban have taken responsibility for the earlier assaults this week that struck on security installations in the east and west of the country.

Overnight on Wednesday and into Thursday, the Taliban killed at least 58 Afghan security forces in attacks that included an assault that nearly wiped out an army camp in southern Kandahar province.

And on Tuesday, the Taliban unleashed a wave of attacks across Afghanistan, targeting police compounds and government facilities with suicide bombers, and killing at least 74 people, officials said.

Afghan forces have struggled to combat a resurgent Taliban since U.S. and NATO forces formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, switching to a counterterrorism and support role.

Houthis Abduct Employees From Norwegian Refugee Council In Yemen

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ASHARQ AL-AWSAT DAILY NEWS PAPER OF SAUDI ARABIA)

Middle East

Houthis Abduct Employees from Norwegian Refugee Council

NRC

Aden – Houthi rebels in Yemen detained six Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) national staff and a contracted driver in the Red Sea district of Hodeidah, according to a statement issued by the Council on Monday.

The detention seemed to be based on the fact that when the NRC staff opened the hygiene kit boxes at the distribution, they came to learn that the boxes, which had no markings on the outside, had a text written on the inside of the boxes that said: “The campaign of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for emergency response.”

The boxes were dated January 2015, before the conflict escalated in March 2015 and were originally used for food.

They had been reused by the contracted vender as hygiene kits packaging. Recycling like this is common in the country.

The Oslo-based non-governmental organization confirmed that it is impartial and does not take sides, stressing that it takes this issue extremely seriously and is currently investigating the matter.

“Our highest priorities now are to safeguard the safety and security of our staff, and investigate this matter fully. We are in contact with the local authorities, and we request that the authorities guarantee the safety, security and well-being of our staff in al-Hudaydah, which has been assured.”

In a statement carried by Yemen’s pro-government Sabanew.net news website, Local Affairs Minister Abdul Raqib Fattah said that the staff had been “abducted” by Houthi rebels from the aid group’s offices in the Hali district of Hodeida.

Beirut Lebanon: Surviving The Suicide Bombers: Government Security Trying To Stop Them

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘ONLY LEBANON.NET’)

Thus survived the southern suburbs of the inevitability of human massacre !!

The newspaper “ambassador” reported that the southern suburbs of Beirut survived the massacre of inevitability, as the suicide bomber who threw Public Security arrested Wednesday, October 5 last in cola that he was preparing to blow himself up after two days passed (ie last Friday) during Friday prayers inside a the largest mosques in the suburbs.

It was clear through the investigation and before the technical monitoring, that the bombers player (Prince of organizing “Daesh” in Raqqa city of) one, has sent them in the same period, while showing that suicide bombers do not know each other, despite having received the same orders from the same operator.

Read More …

At the same time, it is revealed that the two sets of Ojstian were together supply of suicide bombers of secure transportation and residence in Lebanon logistical support until the date of the bombing, in addition to a poll intended target and packaging belts places, these groups know no each other and they receive a command from the operator “Aldaasha” himself in Raqqa .

Great Mosque of Damascus- Umayyad Mosque, Syria—A Great History Lesson

(THIS IS A GREAT PIECE OF HISTORY FROM ‘THE WISDOM DIARY’)

Great Mosque of Damascus- Umayyad Mosque, Syria

The Great Mosque of Damascus, Syria
                             The Great Mosque of Damascus, Syria

The middle east is enriched with great architectures. Diving deep in any of the historical buildings will unfold a new tale. Each of these buildings shows the extreme love of the past people for great edifices. It shows how significant those civilizations were. Even to this day, these buildings stand alone in the field of artistry and grace. One big stop to this are the remarkable structures in Syria- the heart of western Asia.

While exploring Syria, one would definitely do injustice if he skips the most noticeable masterpiece of Damascus that is none other than its mosque called The Great Mosque of Damascus. It is nonetheless a living monument of Umayyad Dynasty. So let’s start our journey with the Author.

History of Umayyad Mosque, Syria:

The Great Mosque of Damascus is also called The Umayyad Mosque. It is one of the oldest mosques in Islam. Some Muslims consider it the fourth holiest site. Besides Muslims, it is considered holy by the Christians alike. There are various reasons it is sacred for both the religions. And both consider it divine and have a strict association with it.

Construction of the building:

As Syria is a home to many great civilizations therefore back in the days when Syria was under Aramaean rule who followed the god of rain and thunderstorm Hadad-Ramman as per their faith, constructed a temple for him. This is the location where present day Umayyad Mosque is built. After the conquest of Syria by the Romans, they comprehend the god of rain Hadad-Ramman as their own god of rain Jupiter. And thus expanded the temple. Later in the 4th century, the temple was converted into the Christian cathedral.

Umayyad Mosque’s importance for Christians:

As the temple was converted into the cathedral. It was under the control of bishop of Damascus. It is to be believed that the head of Saint John the prophet who is a holy figure for both Christians and Muslims is buried here. Saint John’s holy shrine is still in the Mosque of Damascus and people believe that some prophetic and miraculous events are associated with it. It was a major site for pilgrims in Byzantine empire and people would often travel long distances in order to pay visits to the enshrined head of John the Baptist.

Umayyad Mosque’s importance for Muslims:

The Arab Muslims conquer Damascus under the leadership of Khalid Bin Waleed. By then the caliphate was under the control of Umayyad Dynasty. The six caliph of that period ordered the construction of a mosque at the place of the cathedral. Before that, it was visited regularly by the local Christians along with other Muslims who had a prayer room in another part of the building. After the order of caliph, a major part of the building was demolished along with the prayer room. The main purpose of constructing a new building was to provide the large area for congregational prayers for Muslims and as a compensation, all other churches of the city were given back to the Christian community. The mosque had to be rebuilt several times because of the negligence that has occurred in protecting it.

Few Facts associated with The Great Mosque of Damascus:

  • The minarets of the mosques dated back to al-Walid, who constructed it for the first time, with little reconstruction. One of the minarets is called the Minaret of Jesus because it is to be believed by the Muslims that before the final hour Jesus Christ would come back and this is the place where Christ will appear.
             
  • Towards the eastern side of the main hall is the place which is finely tiled chamber or shrine. It is to be believed that this place holds the head of either Zechariah the father of prophet John or Hussein Bin Ali- the grandson of Muhammad.
  • Saladin is considered as one of the most prominent conquerors in Islamic history and his tomb is placed in the garden that adjoins the north wall of the mosque. This is one more reason why Umayyad Mosque holds significance in Islam.
  • The shrine of John who is considered a prophet in Islam is still in the mosque and it is a means of utmost respect and divinity for Muslims.
  • The great Mosque of Damascus is the place where the prisoners of Karbala incident were kept. The household of Prophet Mohammad walked all the way from Iraq to this place and was imprisoned here for sixty days. There are numerous other tiny sites inside the hall that tells stories.

It is, therefore, sacred for both shia and Sunni sects of Islam. Just like it is sacred for Christians. Every year many people visit this Holy and historical site that is a mark of many ages in itself.

Bombings: Are They Really About Religion, Or About Financial Control Of An Area?

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News)

Suicide bomber strikes mosque in northwest Pakistan, killing 25

A suicide bomber shouted “Allahu akbar” and blew himself up in a packed mosque in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 25 people and wounding 30 during Friday prayers.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing in Payee Khan, a village in Mohmand Agency that is part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan.

“The suicide bomber was in a crowded mosque, he shouted ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is great) and then there was a huge blast,” said Naveed Akbar, deputy administrator of Mohmand Agency.

Akbar added that some fatalities appear to have been caused when part of the mosque caved in from the force of the blast.

“A portion of the mosque and verandah collapsed in the blast and fell on worshipers. We are still retrieving bodies and the injured from the rubble of the mosque,” he said.

Local tribal elder Haji Subhanullah Mohmand said the attack may have been carried out by Islamist militants seeking revenge after local tribesmen gathered a volunteer force and killed one and captured another insurgent.

“It seems to have enraged the militants and they got their revenge by carrying out a suicide attack in a mosque today,” Mohmand said.

Pakistan’s frontier regions, which are deeply conservative and hard to access due to rough terrain, have long been the sanctuary of fighters from al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other militant groups.

In 2014 the army launched a major operation in other parts of FATA, including North and South Waziristan against insurgents who routinely attacked government officials and civilians.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the bombing and said the “attacks by terrorists cannot shatter the government’s resolve to eliminate terrorism from the country.”

Security in Pakistan has improved in recent years — the military says “terrorist incidents” dropped from 128 in 2013 to 74 last year — but Islamist extremists continue to stage major attacks.

A bombing of lawyers in the city of Quetta killed 74 people last month, an attack claimed by both the Islamic State and Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar also claimed the Easter Sunday bombing in a park in the eastern city of Lahore that killed 72 people.

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung Volcano Blows It Top

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)

OME » WORLD

Mount Sinabung erupts