Beating their chests with hands, thousands of minority Shiite Muslims attended a mass funeral Saturday for those killed in a pair of bombings in Pakistan’s largest city.
At least 33 people died and 170 others were wounded in Karachi on Friday when suspected Sunni militants targeted a bus carrying Shiite worshippers and then attacked a major hospital treating victims of the first bomb, said government spokesman Jamil Soomro.
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Sixty-three homes were torched by the Taliban in the town of Tori Mela in the Feroze Khel region of Arakzai after the residents were ordered to leave.
“Local people said the Tehrik-i-Taliban [Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] had ‘punished’ tribesmen because of their refusal to stay on in the village and support them in their fight against security forces,” Dawn reported. Most of the residents had fled the region once fighting broke out between the Taliban and security forces in November.
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‘Brother’ Taliban strikes again: Militants blow up six shrines in Orakzai, dig up and desecrate remains of spiritual leader.
Militants exhumed the body of a spiritual leader and blew up six other shrines in the Stori Khel area of lower Orakzai Agency on Tuesday.
Locals said heavily armed militants came to the area of the Stori Khel tribe, who have raised a lashkar against them, and dug up the grave of spiritual leader Anwarul Haq. They desecrated the remains and then took it to an unknown location.
The militants also blew up six other shrines in the Khwa area of Stori Khel.
The Stori Khel tribe has been fighting the Taliban for over a month to keep them away from their area.
Militant leaders — Tariq Afridi, chief of Darra Adamkhel and Khyber Agency Taliban, and Maulana Akhunzada Aslam Farooqui, head of Orakzai Agency Taliban — have been asking the Shia clan of the Stori Khel tribe to expel security personnel recently deployed in the area.
Another school was blown up in Bajaur too.
Pakistan’s Taliban on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 43 people in Karachi, and threatened more attacks.
“My group claims responsibility for the Karachi attack and we will carry out more such attacks, within 10 days,” Asmatullah Shaheen, one of the commanders of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, who spoke by telephone to a Reuters reporter in Peshawar.
And the rest of the article is full of conspiracy theories implying that the Pakistani government “or some other foreign government” ‘must’ have been involved.
A general strike has been called in Karachi for Friday. It is being supported by both Shia and Sunni leaders, probably for different reasons.
The cost of carnage wrought by the subsequent rioting and violence is estimated at $30 billion rupees, which converts to about $356 million dollars. More than 2,000 shops in the city were set ablaze. Not a bad return on the loss of a single – probably teenage – suicide bomber.
The death toll has risen to 40.
It’s like I can feel the realization of the caliphate utopia right around the corner…
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This story says there have been 30 killed in a suicide attack on a a Pakistani Shiite procession, but I just heard the BBC say the death toll is up to 35.
According to media reports, angry mob have set ablaze Light House building situated at the MA Jinnah Road. While several vehicles, parked around the city court, have also been set on fire, sources said.
People are stranded in the building, which was set on fire.
There are also reports of unrest at different parts of the city, including Numaish, Jafar Society and MA Jinnah Road.
Edhi ambulances, KESC vehicles and police mobiles were torched.
Anwar al Awlaki was at the meeting in Yemen that was attacked on Thursday but he was not harmed, reports The Long War Journal.
Intelligence officials said he was there to provide the religious justification for attacks against Yemeni and US targets in response to Dec. 17 airstrikes against al Qaeda in Abyan and Sana’a.
One TI post about Awlaki that has gotten a lot of hits is ‘The Salafi refutation of Anwar al-Awlaki,‘ where, from memory, he is denounced by a prominent Saudi Arabian shaykh as a licenser of vigilantes and hirabah, which seems to be topical to Awlaki’s purpose at the meeting.
Pakistan hirabah watch.
• Sectarian fitna: Two children are dead – one was the teenage suicide bomber – outside an ‘imambargah’, a Shiite congregation hall, in Rawalpindi. The other victim was a 6-year-old girl who was slain by metal shrapnel. Her father was injured. There were approximately 500 people in the hall at the time, but a security guard and a constable stopped the teenager before he could get inside.
• Five people were killed in a suicide attack in Peshawar. The AP called it an attack on a neighborhood and Dawn called it an attack on a mall. One cop and four bystanders were killed. Ball bearings were found at the site, indicating the bomb had been “improved” to increase casualties. One official told Dawn that the explosives used in all recent attacks have been the same which indicates the attacks are all coming from the same group, but another said, “the threat is now coming from three different regions…These people have dispersed and have formed small cells to attack civilians and law-enforcement personnel.”
• The Peshawar Press Club has released remarkably sharp closed-circuit video of the bombing there from a few days ago that killed three. The bomber who has also been reported to be a teenager, has his back to the camera and standing jauntily with one foot kicked to the side and his hands shoved into his pockets at the moment of explosion.
• An article to put it all in perspective: “Pakistan bombings by Taliban hit lower classes hardest.”
“A lot of the elite targets is to show they can do these things, but whenever they do, they strike other targets,” says Haris Gazdar, an expert on poverty at the Center for Social Science Research in Karachi. “Even if they’re in a rich area, a lot of poor people walking in the street die,” he says.
Bombing in Karbala.