(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(CNN)Suspected suicide bombers struck three different churches in Indonesia on Sunday morning, killing at least nine people and injuring scores more, police say.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Two suicide bombers attacked a church packed with worshipers on Sunday in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 30 others, several critically, officials said.
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta, the capital of the restive Baluchistan Province, in the country’s southwest. The group’s Amaq News Agency posted a statement online Sunday that said attackers had stormed a church in Quetta, but gave no further details.
The assault raised concerns about the security of religious minorities, especially Christians, in a country with a dismal record when it comes to the treatment and protection of religious minorities, analysts say.
Pakistani officials denied that ISIS had an organized presence in the country, however, even though the terrorist group has claimed responsibility for several other attacks in Baluchistan in recent years.
“Law enforcement agencies have badly failed in protecting common citizens, and minorities in particular,” said Shamaun Alfred Gill, a Christian political and social activist based in Islamabad.
“December is a month of Christian religious rituals,” Mr. Gill said. “We had demanded the government beef up security for churches all over the country. But they have failed to do so.”
Christians make up at least 2 percent of the country’s population of about 198 million. Most of them are marginalized and perform menial jobs.
The attack, a week before the Christmas holiday, unfolded in the early morning hours at Bethel Memorial Methodist Church. About 400 people had gathered for Sunday service when an assailant detonated his explosives-laden vest near the door to the church’s main hall.
Another attacker failed to detonate his suicide jacket and was shot by security forces after an intense firefight, officials said.
Sarfraz Bugti, the provincial home minister, said the death toll could have been higher had the attacker managed to reach the main hall of the church, which is on one of the busiest roads in the city and near several important public buildings.
Local television networks broadcast images of terrified worshipers running out of the church as the attack was underway. Several young girls, wearing white frocks and holding red bags, could be seen fleeing the compound. Witnesses told local news outlets that people, panicked and frightened, had rushed out after hearing a loud explosion, followed by the sound of gunfire outside.
As security forces moved inside the main hall after the attack, they were confronted by a scene of bloody destruction. Several benches and chairs were overturned. Musical instruments were turned upside down.
A Christmas tree with decorative lights stood at one corner, and a pool of blood lay outside the door where the suicide bomber had detonated explosives.
Two women were among the dead, and 10 women and seven children were among the injured, hospital officials said. Most of the injured were taken to the Civil Hospital nearby.
Quetta has been the scene of violent terrorist attacks recently, and a large number of military and paramilitary troops, apart from the police, have been deployed to maintain security.
Officials have repeatedly claimed that they have reduced violence in Baluchistan, a rugged and resource-rich province bordering Afghanistan and Iran. But the ease with which the attackers managed to carry out their assault on Sunday seemed to belie those claims.
“The army repeatedly claims that it has broken the backbone of terrorism in the country,” Mr. Gill said. “But terrorism is still very much present and destroying the lives of common people.”
An insurgency by Baluch separatists has long simmered in the province, and the Taliban and other militants maintain a presence in the region.
Some officials were quick to shift blame toward Afghanistan, pointing to the presence of havens there for militants.
“The terrorists have safe sanctuaries across the border in Afghanistan,” said Anwar-ul Haq Kakar, a spokesman for the Baluchistan government. “They have become a major source of terrorism inside Baluchistan.”
Many minority leaders, however, stressed that there was a bigger need to look inward to ensure security for religious minorities, especially Christians.
“This attack is a serious breach of security,” Mr. Gill said.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(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.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘ONLY LEBANON.NET’)
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.
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 .
Yesterday as most of you know there was a terrorist attack at the main Airport in Istanbul Turkey as three spiritually and emotionally disturbed people blew themselves up there. Here in America the national news outlets act as though they are clueless as to the reason for this act of evil as well as what group of people did this demonic event. Last night I watched the CBS Evening News with Charlie Rose as the commentator. He suggested that it might be al-Qaeda or Kurdish rebels but offered no insight as to why this event took place there in Turkey. I thought then as I do now that both of those answers had little chance of being correct. The reason that I feel this way is that even though al-Qaeda does use suicide bombers just as almost all of the Islamic terror groups do, they are not the main terror group in the region, if this had happened in Damascus Syria or Amman Jordan I would give more credence to that possibility. Blaming the Kurdish freedom fighters for this is also not at all likely as they are not know for suicide bombing attacks. The Kurd’s have been known to set off a few remote control bombs in Turkey because they are constantly under attack by Turkey’s Dictator Er-Dog-an but these people are not know for blowing themselves up like the Islamic groups are. Here are my conclusions on this Demonic event. One, I believe that ISIS is almost undoubtedly responsible for this attack as it definitely fits their method of operation. Two, what was the reason that this happened? What triggered this event? I believe that the event that caused it was that the day before the bombing Turkey’s President Er-Dog-an normalized relations with the State of Israel. Throughout the years I have found that since I do pay attention to the events in the Middle-East that I am seldom wrong when it comes to my conclusions. Let us see now how these events play out. I create my decisions through honest observations derived from watching, listing, reading and praying for insight, understanding and knowledge from God. I care about people, all people, and I am always seeking (The Truth) in all matters/events. We shall all now see through looking backwards with the knowledge of now, what the truth’s of this horrible tragedy turn out to be. Either way, whether I am right or wrong on my conclusions I hope that we all agree and believe that these events are pure evil.
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