Blasts in Pakistan Kill at Least 115 and Raise Fears Over Elections
[NY Times] Bomb blasts in two Pak cities killed at least 115 people on Thursday and maimed more than 270, offering harrowing evidence of how the country's myriad internal conflicts could destabilize it as elections approach.
Know that their problem is? Not enough Islam.
The worst violence occured in the southwestern city of Quetta, where two kabooms a few minutes apart in the evening destroyed a snooker hall in a neighborhood dominated by ethnic Hazara Shiites, killing at least 81 people and wounding more than 170, the police said.
If they were more Islamic this sort of thing would never happen, because Islam is a religion of peace.
A jacket wallah detonated his explosives inside the hall, and a second attacker then blew up his vehicle outside the club as coppers and journalists arrived, a police brass hat, Mir Zubair Mehmood, told news hounds. Five coppers and one camer operators were killed in the second kaboom. Hospitals were overwhelmed as casualties arrived through the evening.
Suicide boomers can't be Moslems. Everybody knows that. This was all obviously planned in New Delhi, because Pakistain beat them in a cricket match.
Hazara leaders said it was the worst sectarian attack in Quetta since attacks on their community started about 14 years ago.
They'll turn out in a day or two and chant "Death to America! Death to the Great Satan!"
Quetta is no stranger to sectarian, nationalist or Islamist violence. Most violence against Shiites there has been directed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
, a Sunni bad boy group with strong ties to the Pak Taliban, which grabbed credit for the snooker hall attack. Snooker is a variation of billiards.
In a week or two it'll all be forgotten. It'll blend into the daily meat grinder of mindless Pak violence, that's all planned and financed in India and Israel and the U.S.A.
An ethnic Baluch separatist group grabbed credit for another bombing earlier on Thursday, aimed at paramilitary soldiers in a commercial part of Quetta, which killed 12 people.
But really, it couldn't be them, because they're all Moslems.
The Hazara, minority Shiites who migrated from Afghanistan more than a century ago, have been the target of dozens of attacks from sectarian death squads led by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Quetta over the past year, but the snooker hall attack was by far the bloodiest.
Any place there's a gathering of one or more persons is a legitimate target. It sez so right in the Koran someplace. You could look it up.
Human rights activists said the police and the security forces failed to protect the vulnerable community. "The callousness and indifference of the authorities offers a damning indictment of the state, its military and security agencies," said Ali Dayan Hasan, the Pakistain director at Human Rights Watch.
What'd you expect? They're not proper Moslems. They're Shiites, fergawdsake...
The other focus of violence on Thursday was the Swat
The stomping ground of Mullah Fazlullah and his untraceable FM radio station. Mullah Fazlullah is the son-in-law of Sufi Mohammad, noted for his piety, his leadership of the TNSM, and the fact that he demanded and got the imposition of "shariah law" on Swat, which then grew a bolt in its neck and went off lumbering through the countryside terrorizing the populace, until finally it threatened Islamabad itself. In a moment of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army cracked down, the TNSM turbans broke and fled, and now Mullah Fazlullah lives in Afghanistan and dispatches his minions to shoot teenage girls through the head.
Valley, in the Hindu Kush mountains in northwestern Pakistain, where a kaboom in the basement of a religious seminary killed at least 22 people and maimed an additional 60. It was not clear why the seminary, run by the Islamic missionary group Tableeghi Jamaat, was a target.
Tablighi Jamaat is a Taliban recruiting organization. Was the madrassa a target? Or was it a work accident? It's never a good idea to smoke where you store your explosives, y'know...
Initial reports said a gas leak had caused the kaboom, but police and hospital officials later said that there was clear evidence of a bomb.
"Hey, Mahmoud! Watch this! [CLUNK!] Oops! [KABOOM!]"
Doctors at a hospital in Saidu Sharif, near the site, said blast victims were being treated for wounds caused by ball bearings, which are sometimes packed into suicide bombs to make them more deadly.
Did they pack the ball bearings in rat poison, as usual?
"There was a smell of explosives," Muhammad Iqbal, a senior doctor, said by telephone.
"And a cigar. There was the smell of a cigar, too."
Islamist violence in Swat drew international condemnation in October after Taliban gunnies shot a teenage schoolgirl and education activist, Malala Yosuafzai. The episode highlighted how Islamist fighters were slowly returning to the valley three years after a Pak military operation drove them away.
The problem can't be too bad, or honest citizens would be hanging the bastards by their own turbans whenever they turn up. That's assuming there are any honest citizens in the area.
The violence underscores the fragility of state authority in parts of Pakistain as the country prepares for a general election that is scheduled to take place before June. Many Paks worry that increasing instability could cause the elections to be postponed.
That's okay, as long as they have enough holy men.
Frustration about the violence among the Pak public has been stoked by anger toward the United States, which continued to press its campaign of drone strikes against bad boy targets in the tribal belt on Thursday.
Toldja so. Zap a few turban compounds and sphincters tighten all through the land. A bomb goes up in the basement of a madrassa, a pool hall full of local tough guys gets blown up, a school bus is boarded and the kiddies shot up, it's tut-tut for maybe a week.
A C.I.A.-directed missile strike on a compound in North Wazoo killed five people, Pak officials said. It was the seventh such attack in two weeks.
And, really, the guyz who're getting zapped, they've got nothing to do with kabooms or shoot-outs or little girls with gunshot wounds. We are just so damn mean!
Posted by: Fred