CM announces Rs500,000 for each blast martyr family

ISLAMABAD: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah Monday announced a sum of Rs500,000 for the heirs of each martyred and Rs100,000 each for the injured of the suicide attack on the Ashura procession in Karachi and also their complete free treatment.

Talking to a private television news channel, he strongly condemned the inhuman act and sympathised with the heirs of the martyred and prayed for their departed souls.

He also prayed for the early recovery of the injured and directed the concerned authorities to ensure quality treatment to the wounded.

He urged the people to remain peaceful as creating an adverse law and order situation was tantamount to fulfilling the evil designs of the terrorists.—APP


Three killed in Peshawar suicide attack

PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber killed three people on Monday in the second attack in Peshawar in 24 hours as militants stepped up efforts to avenge a major offensive against the Taliban.

Police said the bomber got out of a rickshaw and detonated his explosives at a police checkpoint on the outer ring road of the northwestern metropolis, which runs into the Al-Qaeda and Taliban-infested tribal badlands.

Pakistan, which has suffered a wave of bombings since July 2007, has been rocked by a spike in bloodshed killing more than 350 people since last month and forcing troops onto the offensive in the tribal belt.

‘Three people were killed, including a police official. Two others were civilians,’ city police chief Liaquat Ali Khan told reporters.

‘The bomber was wearing a suicide vest filled with about six kilograms of explosives,’ he added.

The blast destroyed two private vehicles and left the rickshaw a mangled wreck, also damaging a police van at the small checkpoint where police erected barricades to search cars, an AFP reporter said, adding blood was splattered over the scene.

Suicide attacks and bombings frequently strike the sprawling city of 2.5 million people. In the deadliest attack in Pakistan in two years, a massive car bomb killed 118 people in a Peshawar market on October 28.

Doctor Zafar Iqbal at the city’s main government-run Lady Reading Hospital said four bodies, including that of the bomber, were brought to the morgue.

‘We received four bodies, one police official and two civilians. The fourth body was that of the suicide attacker. It was unrecognisable,’ he told AFP.

The attack came 24 hours after a suicide strike in a crowded cattle market in Peshawar.

The death toll from that incident rose to 14 on Monday.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack, saying it was avenging Mayor Abdul Malik’s efforts to raise a militia to fight militants after he cut formerly close links to the Taliban movement in 2008.

The United States has put Pakistan on the frontline of its war against Al-Qaeda, increasingly disturbed by deteriorating security in the country where suicide attacks and bombings have killed more than 2,450 people in 28 months.

There was no claim of responsibility for Monday’s bombing but Pakistan’s security forces have been in the crosshairs of brazen Taliban attacks since unleashing a major ground and air offensive in South Waziristan on October 17.

Late Sunday, police shot dead a would-be suicide bomber who approached a checkpoint in the heavily guarded and leafy capital Islamabad, officials said.

Police said the man came from South Waziristan, where the home-grown Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) movement has carved out bastions and where the military has claimed a string of successes in its latest anti-Taliban campaign.

Pakistan’s military and civilian government have blamed recent attacks in cities on TTP militants avenging both the military offensive and the killing of their leader Baitullah Mehsud in a US missile attack in August.

Around 30,000 troops are pressing a three-pronged offensive against TTP hideouts in South Waziristan, part of the tribal belt on the Afghan border.

Backed up by fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the area is a closed military zone and details are impossible to confirm independently.

Pakistan’s military Sunday said that 20 insurgents had been killed in South Waziristan in 24 hours as troops tried to consolidate gains made over three weeks, taking the total insurgent death toll to 478.

Suicide attack kills five US soldiers in Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq, April 10: Five US troops were killed on Friday in the deadliest attack on American forces in Iraq for more than a year when a suicide truck bomber struck a police compound in the northern city of Mosul.

Two Iraqi police and an Iraqi soldier also perished in the blast, according to an interior ministry official. The US military considers Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, to be the last urban bastion of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

The attack comes amid a sudden upturn in bombings nationwide including a series of blasts in Baghdad that have dealt a blow to recent upbeat assessments by American commanders about Iraq’s fragile security.

A US military spokesman said that five soldiers were killed and two others wounded in the attack, adding that the patrol seemed to have been in the area by chance and was not deliberately targeted.

“It appears to have been a target of opportunity as the … convoy was passing the national police station, and not at the headquarters conducting training,” spokesman Major Derrick Cheng said.

An Iraqi policeman who asked not to be named described how the truck barrelled through a checkpoint before it exploded in the heart of the compound, leaving a huge crater and damaging surrounding buildings.

Friday’s truck bomb wounded another 65 people, including Iraqi policemen and dozens of civilians living near the compound who were pelted with shrapnel, according to Muatasam al-Hayali, a doctor at Mosul’s main hospital.

Amjad Akram, 42, said the explosion rocked his apartment near the compound.

“Everything was broken in my home, my refrigerator, my TV, my furniture. The smoke was so thick we couldn’t see each other,” he said.

A woman said she was at home with her husband and five children when the bomb went off.

“We felt a huge tremor and the electricity went out,” she said. “My children couldn’t breathe for an hour because of the smoke. We took my grandmother to the hospital because she was hit by shrapnel.” The US military said in a statement that American forces had detained two suspects in the bombing.

According to a count, the latest deaths bring the total number of US casualties since the March 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein to 4,271.

The US army spokesman confirmed that Friday’s blast was the deadliest for American forces since March 10 last year, when a suicide bomber struck a foot patrol in Baghdad, killing five soldiers.

Despite repeated US and Iraqi operations in Mosul, the city is still gripped by a strong insurgency, in part due to an ethnic divide between Kurds and Sunni Arabs but also because of tribal rivalries.

The US military has in recent weeks played down talk of a rise in violence, as its soldiers prepare to withdraw from Iraqi cities and major towns by June 30 and from the entire country by the end of 2011.—AFP

Firing after suicide attack kills seven in Miramshah

MIRAMSHAH: Seven people were killed and 24 others injured, including 19 students, when troops resorted to indiscriminate fire after a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up near a check post here on Saturday. Four paramilitary soldiers were injured in the suicide attack, officials said.

The injured children of Al Azhar Public School were taken to a government hospital in Miramshah. Five civilians were also taken to the hospital.

The officials said that paramilitary forces were closing the main road for traffic because a military convoy was coming from Bannu.

Suddenly, a jeep appeared on the road and was approaching towards the check post near Civil Colony.

Witnesses said that forces fired several warning shots, but the driver of the jeep ignored them. As the firing continued the jeep exploded with a big bang near the check post, wounding four soldiers.

After the explosion army and paramilitary troops started firing in all directions. Students crossing the check post and some passers-by were caught in the firing.

17 killed in Chakwal suicide attack

ISLAMABAD: A bomb exploded in a religious centre for minority Shia Muslims in Chakwal 100km from the Federal capital on Sunday, killing 17 people and wounding around a 100, police said.

‘According to information received so far at least 17 people have died and some 100 were injured in the suicide attack,’ Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told AFP

‘The bomber was intercepted at the entrance otherwise he could have caused large scale casualties,’ Sanaullah said.

‘We have sent two helicopters to move the injured to hospitals in Islamabad,’ he added.

Blast victims are being taken to the local DHQ Hospital in Chakwal.

Police said some 1,200 people were attending the religious gathering when the attack occurred.

‘Our policemen deployed at the gate tried to stop the attacker from going inside where some 1,200 people were attending a majlis,’ senior police official Chaudhry Zulfiqar told AFP.

According to an eye witness’ account, Adeel Raza, a young man about 16-17 years old, dressed in black, got out of a car and detonated his explosives at the entrance of the Imambargah.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the attack and has ordered an immediate inquiry.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director has deployed his team at the site of the attack and is expecting a report by this evening.

The blast came a day after eight paramilitary soldiers were killed in a suicide attack in the capital, Islamabad.

33 dead in suicide attack on Iraq tribal leaders

BAGHDAD – A suicide bomber struck Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders touring a market after a reconciliation meeting west of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 33 people in the second major attack in the capital area in two days.

Despite the ongoing violence, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said he does not believe the Iraqi government will ask Americans to remain in the country past a 2011 deadline set by a security agreement between the two countries.

The bombing — which left clusters of bodies lying piled near the shabby market stalls lining the road — was part of a spike of violence that comes as the U.S. military begins to draw down its forces.

The bomber detonated an explosives belt as the tribal leaders were walking through the market in the town of Abu Ghraib, accompanied by security officials and journalists, according to the Iraqi military.

Shakir Fizaa, the mayor of Abu Ghraib, blamed al-Qaida in Iraq. He said the tribal leaders had just left his office along with security officials after a reconciliation meeting and were talking to constituents in the market when the bombing occurred.

He said some people were wounded when police opened fire after the attack.

“This terrorist attack was aimed at stopping reconciliation and the improvement in the security situation,” he told The Associated Press. “The criminal attack bears the fingerprints of al-Qaida, but we will not be deterred by the acts of the vicious group against innocent civilians.”

Two Iraqi television journalists from the privately owned Baghdadiya station were among those killed in the attack, and a reporter from the state television was wounded.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but suicide operations are the hallmark of al-Qaida in Iraq. The U.S. military has said the terror network appears to be stepping up its campaign of bombings as it tries to make a comeback after being battered by recent U.S.-Iraqi military campaigns.

A suicide attacker killed 30 people on Sunday near the police academy in east Baghdad.

Abu Ghraib is a mainly Sunni district that also is the site of the prison where U.S. soldiers were photographed abusing inmates, igniting a scandal that was one of the biggest setbacks to American efforts to win the peace in Iraq.

The area was once one of the most dangerous in Iraq but has seen a sharp decline in violence after a decision by local Sunni tribal leaders to turn against al-Qaida in Iraq.

Recent high-profile attacks have marred an announcement on Sunday by the U.S. military that 12,000 American troops and 4,000 Britons will be withdrawn from the country by September — the first step in fulfilling President Barack Obama‘s pledge to end America’s part in the war by the end of 2011.

U.S. troops are to leave the cities by the end of June, and the attacks raise questions about whether Iraqi security forces will be able to cope with the persistent violence.

The 2011 deadline was set in a security agreement that took effect on Jan. 1. There has been speculation the Iraqis may ask the U.S. for an extension.

But Gen. Ray Odierno told The Associated Press in an interview that he has received no indication that Iraqi leaders want that to happen.

Odierno left the door open to the possibility, however, saying “never say never.”

The reconciliation meeting the Sunni and Shiite sheiks were holding before they were attacked was one of many the Iraqi government has been encouraging to heal the rifts between the Muslim sects after years of sectarian violence that pushed the country to the brink of civil war.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, last week went so far as to call on Iraqis to reconcile with former supporters of Saddam Hussein‘s Sunni-dominated regime who have been shunned by the Shiite government that rose to power after the U.S. invasion.

The speech appeared aimed at making political inroads into Sunni areas ahead of national parliamentary elections expected later this year. The prime minister’s allies gained little support in Sunni areas in the Jan. 31 provincial elections.

The Iraqi officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information, said 33 people were killed and 46 were wounded in Tuesday’s attack.

But the Iraqi military spokesman’s office put the toll slightly lower, at 28 people were killed and 28 wounded.

Conflicting casualty tolls are common in the chaotic aftermath of bombings.


Associated Press Writers Lara Jakes, Sinan Salaheddin and Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report.

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20 killed in D.I Khan suicide attack

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The death toll of Dera Ismail Khan suicide attack has reached to 20.

Army took the control of the city due to deteriorating law and order situation. According to initial reports, a suicide blast occurred in funeral procession near imam baragah Kotli Imam Hussain killing 20 and injured several people. Police said the explosion happened near Shobra hotel.

The injured were shifted to district headquarter hospital and emergency has been imposed in the hospitals. All markets were closed after the blast as angry person set on fire a bus.

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10-year-old boy killed in suicide attack in Buner

PESHAWAR: A 10-year-old boy was killed and four children were wounded in a suicide attack in Dagar, an area of Buner on Tuesday.

The attacker struck during the celebrations of Eid-ul-Azha on a busy street in the town of Buner in NWFP.

According to police, the suicide bomber wanted to target a government installation but suddenly his jacket was torn and the bomb exploded.

In result, a 10-year-old boy, named Zahid Hussain was killed and four other children were injured who were taken to district headquarter hospital where the nine-year-old Satoor Bibi is in critical condition.

The hand, leg and various parts of body of the bomber were found on the spot.

The security forces have cordoned off the area after the explosion.