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Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

Suicide bomber kills 33 at Iran procession

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:43 am

TEHRAN, Dec 15, 2010 (AFP) – A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shiite religious procession in the Iranian city of Chabahar on Wednesday, killing 33 people and wounding 83 in an attack claimed by Sunni rebel group Jundallah.


The United States and United Nations led international condemnation of the attack, which Iran said originated from a Jundallah (Army of God) base in neighbouring Pakistan.


Chabahar Prefect Ali Bateni said “33 people were killed and another 83 wounded” in what was the worst attack recorded against Shiite ceremonies.


The bomber struck in a central square as worshippers took part in a procession marking the eve of the last day of Ashura, Red Crescent official Mahmoud Mozafar told the ILNA news agency.


“An individual walked up to some Red Crescent ambulances and blew himself up.”


The governor of Sistan-Baluchestan province, Ali Mohammad Azad, said: “Two terrorists were killed, one in the explosion and the second by police.”


Bateni said a third “terrorist” was later arrested. An intelligence official said he was captured near the border with Pakistan while attempting to flee the country.


“There were two terrorists who were spotted before they carried out their attack but one of them managed to detonate his explosive vest,” Bateni told IRNA.


“The ringleader of this terrorist action has been arrested.”


Ashura is one of the high points of the Shiite calendar when large crowds of worshippers gather in mosques across predominantly Shiite Iran.


But unlike most of the rest of the country, Chabahar’s province of Sistan-Baluchestan has a significant Sunni community and has seen persistent unrest in recent years by Jundallah militants.


The group claimed the attack as revenge for the hanging of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi in June.


“This operation was a revenge for the hanging of the head of the movement Abdolmalek and other members of Jundallah,” the group said on its website junbish.blogspot.com.


“Tens of guards (members of the elite Revolutionary Guards) and mercenaries have been killed. The operation was carried out to expose the aggressors in Baluchestan.”


Jundallah, which says it is championing the rights of the province’s large Sunni ethnic Baluchi community, has claimed many deadly attacks on security forces over the past decade and assaults that have led to civilian deaths.


Iran has cracked down hard on the group.


In July, Jundallah claimed an attack on the Grand Mosque in the provincial capital Zahedan that targeted Revolutionary Guards and killed 28 people.


Last month, the United States officially designated Jundallah a foreign terrorist organisation. That drew a cautious welcome from Iran, which had previously accused Washington of supporting the group.


Iranian officials renewed the charge on Wednesday.


The head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Alaeddin Borujerdi, accused the “intelligence services of the United States and Britain” of being behind the attack, the ISNA news agency reported.


Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi said the “equipment used shows that they are terrorists supported by the intelligence services of the region and the US,” IRNA said.


For his part, Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najar said “a group of terrorists, trained and based on the other side of the border, in Pakistan, committed this attack.”


US President Barack Obama said in a statement: “I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack … The murder of innocent civilians in their place of worship during Ashura is a despicable offense.”


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also condemned the attack and extended condolences to the families of the victims.


“The United States condemns all forms of terrorism and sectarian-driven violence, wherever it occurs, and we stand with the victims of these abhorrent and reprehensible acts,” she said.


UN chief Ban Ki-moon was “shocked and dismayed” and strongly condemned the “abhorrent terrorist act,” his spokesman said.


British Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said London “strongly condemns this atrocity,” while France’s foreign ministry said it shared Iran’s grief after it “was again plunged into mourning by particularly odious terrorism.”

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Source: SGGP

Death toll in Pakistan suicide attack rises to 68

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2010 at 7:51 am

59 die in suicide attack on Iraq army recruitment centre

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 7:23 am

BAGHDAD, Aug 17, 2010 (AFP) – A suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded army recruitment centre in Baghdad killing 59 people Tuesday, officials said, as violence coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan raged across Iraq.


The attack, blamed on Al-Qaeda and the deadliest this year, wounded at least another 100 people and came a day after Iraq’s two main political parties suspended talks over the formation of a new government and as the US withdraws thousands of its soldiers from the country.


US President Barack Obama led international condemnation of the attack, with his spokesman insisting the bomber’s attempt to “derail the advances that the Iraqi people have made” would not succeed.

U.S. soldiers carry the flag-draped transfer case containing the remains of Army Specialist Jamal M. Rhett out of a C-17 during a dignified transfer on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base August 17, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Rhett of Palmyra, New Jersey, died Aug. 15 in Ba Qubah, Iraq. AFP

Britain and France joined in, with Paris describing it as “cowardly” and London labelling it “unjustified and vicious.”


Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered a high-level probe into the bombing, which Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim Atta blamed on Al-Qaeda.


“The fingerprints of Al-Qaeda are very clear in this attack,” Atta told AFP. “You can see it in the timing, the circumstances, the target and the style of the attack — all the information indicates it was Al-Qaeda behind this.”


An official at Baghdad morgue put the death toll at 59, while a doctor at Medical City hospital, close to the scene of the attack, said they had received 125 wounded.


The bomber blew himself up around 7:30 am (0430 GMT) at the centre, a former ministry of defence building that now houses a local security command, in the Baab al-Muatham neighbourhood in the heart of the capital.


An interior ministry official said the majority of the victims were prospective soldiers seeking to enlist on the last day of a week-long recruitment drive but that some troops who were protecting the compound were also hurt and killed.


“After the explosion, everyone ran away, and the soldiers fired into the air,” said 19-year-old Ahmed Kadhim, one of the recruits at the centre who escaped unharmed from the attack.


“I saw dozens of people lying on the ground, some of them were on fire. Others were running with blood pouring out.”


Kadhim said the recruits, who had to pass two searches to enter the recruitment centre compound, had been divided into groups based on their educational qualifications, with the suicide bomber targeting the selection of high school graduates.


A doctor at Medical City hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said several of the wounded remained in critical condition and added that most of the victims were “very young — less than 20 years old.”


Iraqi security forces cordoned off the area following the attack, and security was stepped up across the capital, leading to traffic gridlock during the morning rush hour.


A shop owner in the area, who did not want to be named, blamed negligence on the part of army officers for the attack.


“This is the fault of the officers responsible for securing the area — they let these recruits gather outside the centre without any protection,” he said.


Also on Tuesday, two policemen were gunned down at a security checkpoint in the northern city of Kirkuk, and a senior trade ministry official was shot dead in west Baghdad, security officials said.


Two separate bomb attacks against judges in Baghdad and the central city of Baquba left four of them wounded, the officials added.


The recruitment centre explosion was the bloodiest single attack here since December 8, when coordinated blasts in the capital killed 127 people, and recalls a spate of suicide bombings against army recruitment posts in 2006 and 2007, when Iraq’s insurgency was at its peak.


Violence has surged in the past two months in Iraq, with 200 people already killed in August alone, and the latest bloodletting, which coincides with Ramadan, has sparked concern that local forces are not yet prepared to handle the country’s security on their own.


American commanders insist that Iraqi soldiers are up to the job as they pull out thousands of their forces ahead of a declaration to an end to combat operations at the end of August.


But Iraq’s top military officer has raised doubt about his soldiers’ readiness when the last US troops depart as scheduled at the end of 2011. American forces would need to stay until 2020, Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari said earlier this month.


Iraq is also mired in a political stalemate, with the winner of its March election breaking off talks with his main rival Monday evening, dampening already faint hopes that a government could be formed before Ramadan ends in the middle of September.

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Source: SGGP

59 die in suicide attack on Iraq army recruitment centre

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 11:22 am

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded army recruitment centre in Baghdad killing 59 people Tuesday, officials said, as violence coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan raged across Iraq.


The attack, the deadliest this year, wounded at least another 100 people and came a day after Iraq’s two main political parties suspended talks over the formation of a new government five months on from elections, and as the US withdraws thousands of its soldiers from the country.


“We have received 59 corpses this morning,” an official at Baghdad morgue said, speaking on condition of anonymity. A doctor at Medical City hospital, close to the scene of the attack, said they had so far received 125 wounded.

An Iraqi policeman mans a mobile checkpoint where cars are searched in central Baghdad on August 17, 2010, following a suicide bombing at a crowded army recruitment centre in the Iraqi capital early in the morning in which more than 40 people were killed

The bomber blew himself up around 7:30 am (0430 GMT) at the centre, a former ministry of defence building that now houses a local security command, in the Baab al-Muatham neighbourhood of central Baghdad.


An interior ministry official said the majority of the victims were army recruits but that some soldiers who were protecting the recruitment centre compound were also among the casualties.


“After the explosion, everyone ran away, and the soldiers fired into the air,” said 19-year-old Ahmed Kadhim, one of the recruits at the centre who escaped unharmed from the attack.


“I saw dozens of people lying on the ground, some of them were on fire. Others were running with blood pouring out.”


Kadhim said the recruits had been divided into groups based on their educational qualifications, with the suicide bomber targeting the selection of high school graduates.


“I don’t know how he managed to get through all the security measures,” he added, referring to two searches that each recruit had to pass before being allowed in the area. “Maybe he hid in the area from last night.”


Iraqi security forces cordoned off the area following the attack, and security was stepped up across the capital, leading to traffic gridlock during the morning rush hour.


Also on Tuesday, two separate bomb attacks against judges in Baghdad and the central city of Baquba left four of them wounded, security officials said.


The recruitment centre explosion was the bloodiest single attack in Iraq since December 8, when a series of coordinated blasts in the capital killed 127 people.


Violence has surged in the past two months in Iraq, with 200 people already killed in August alone and Iraqi government figures saying that 535 people died in July — the deadliest month in Iraq since 2008. The US military disputes the July figure, saying 222 people died violently.


Violence has surged since the start of Ramadan on August 11, with a spate of weekend bombings and shootings killing 18 people and a car bomb attack on Tuesday killing five, including four Iranian pilgrims.


The bloodletting has sparked concern that local forces are not yet prepared to handle the country’s security on their own.


American commanders, however, insist, that Iraqi soldiers are up to the job as they pull out thousands of their forces ahead of a declaration to an end to combat operations at the end of August.


But Iraq’s top military officer has raised doubt about his soldiers’ readiness when the last US troops depart as scheduled at the end of 2011. American forces would need to stay until 2020, Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari said earlier this month.


Iraq is also mired in a political stalemate, with the winner of its March election breaking off talks with his main rival Monday evening, dampening already faint hopes that a government could be formed before Ramadan ends in the middle of September.


The country’s security forces have been persistent targets at the hands of insurgent groups since the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003, as they are seen by militants as a symbol of the government, and representatives of an “occupying force.”

Source: SGGP

Suicide vest is vital clue after Uganda blasts

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm

KAMPALA (AFP) – A suicide bomber carried out at least one of the two bomb attacks that killed 76 people as they watched the World Cup final in Kampala restaurants and arrests have been made, a minister said Wednesday.


A Somalian Al-Qaeda inspired group has claimed the attacks and police have already found an unexploded suicide vest at an another site, seen as evidence of a botched plan for a third bomb strike.

People look for survivors at an Ethiopian-owned restaurant in the Kabalagala area of Kampala. AFP

One militant blew himself up at an Ethiopian restaurant in Kabalagala, a southern Kampala district, where crowds had gathered to watch the football match on Sunday night.


“We can confirm at least for the case of Kabalagala that it was a suicide bomber,” State Minister for Internal Affairs, Matia Kasaija, told AFP.


“We have arrested some suspicious characters. These are people of interest. Some are Ugandans, some are Somalis,” he added.


The second attack at the same time was on a crowded bar in the Ugandan capital. The blasts have been claimed by Shebab insurgents in Somalia, who said it was in retaliation for the presence of Ugandan troops in an African Union force in Somalia.


US President Barack Obama said that groups like Al-Qaeda did not care about African lives as he condemned the Kampala attacks.


Obama, leveraging his African heritage, took direct aim at Shebab and Al-Qaeda over the attacks.


“What you?ve seen in some of the statements that have been made by these terrorist organizations is that they do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself,” Obama told the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).


“They see it as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains,” said the US leader, whose father was Kenyan.


Ugandan police have not given details of the identities of those arrested.


But national police chief Kale Kayihura said Tuesday that a suicide vest — laden with explosives and fitted with a detonator — had been found packed in a black laptop bag at a club in Kampala’s Makindye district on Monday.


“We have established that what was found at the discotheque was in fact a suicide vest, and it could also be used as an IED” or improvised explosive device, he told reporters.


While the bombers’ actions appeared to support the Shebab’s claim of responsibility, the police chief pointed a finger at a homegrown Muslim rebel group known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).


“Shebab is linked with ADF,” he said. “ADF is composed of Ugandans, Shebab and ADF are linked to Al-Qaeda.”


Ismael Rukwago, a senior ADF commander based in Democratic Republic of Congo, denied any involvement. “We are not part of this thing, we are absolutely denying. We have no reason, these are innocent people,” he told AFP by telephone.


The bombings were the deadliest in East Africa since Al-Qaeda attacks against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1988.


They were the first by the Shebab outside Somalia, marking an unprecedented internationalisation of Somalia’s 20-year-old civil conflict.


Shebab’s top leader had warned in an audio message this month that Uganda and Burundi would face retaliation for contributing to an African Union (AU) force supporting the western-backed Somali transitional government.


The Shebab accuse the AU force (AMISOM) of killing civilians during its operations around the tiny perimeter of Mogadishu housing President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s embattled administration.


The Ugandans were the first to deploy to Somalia in early 2007.


Many of the injured from the Kampala attacks remain in hospital and not all of the bodies have been identified. It is known that a US national and an Irish woman were among the dead.

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Source: SGGP

Suicide bombs kill 33 in Iraq, officials say

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Suicide bombers in a crowded Baghdad commercial district and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit killed as many as 33 people Sunday as insurgents tried to turn a monthslong deadlock over forming a new Iraqi government to their advantage.


The latest violence began when bombers drove two cars packed with nearly 180 pounds (82 kilograms) of ammonium nitrate toward the gates of the Trade Bank of Iraq building in Baghdad and detonated the explosives after striking the surrounding blast walls, said Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi.


Al-Moussawi said at least 18 people were killed and 42 wounded. But three Iraqi police officials and a doctor at the Yarmouk hospital where many victims were taken put the toll at 28 killed and 57 wounded. Conflicting casualty tolls are common in the chaotic aftermath of bombings in Iraq.


Hours later, a man wearing an explosives vest blew himself up as police and onlookers responded to a roadside bomb apparently set as a trap in the northern city of Tikrit. At least five people were killed and 12 wounded in the late night attack, according to police and hospital officials.

An Iraqi Army soldier stands guard at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, June 20, 2010.

The attacks added weight to warnings that insurgents would try to foment unrest as politicians squabble over forming a new government more than three months after inconclusive national elections.


The explosions capped a week in which about 100 people were killed in bombings and shootings nationwide, including at least 26 who died in a commando-style assault against the central bank in Baghdad last Sunday. An al-Qaida in Iraq front group, the Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility for that attack, saying it targeted the institution responsible for funneling “oil money and the stolen wealth of Muslims” to the West.


Sectarian bloodshed that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007 has dropped sharply after a series of U.S.-Iraqi offensives, a Sunni revolt against al-Qaida and a Shiite militia cease-fire. But Iraqis still face near-daily attacks.


Many are venting their anger at politicians for failing to choose a prime minister and form a government, even though the new parliament was seated last week. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been acting in a caretaker role as he battles to keep his job after a rival Sunni-backed political bloc won a narrow victory in the March 7 parliamentary vote.


The head of the Iraqiya bloc, Ayad Allawi, has warned more violence could ensue if the Sunnis who backed him feel sidelined by a Shiite alliance between al-Maliki’s party and a hard-line religious group.


Ahmed Abdullah, an engineer in the Electricity Ministry, said bickering politicians “have encouraged al-Qaida sleeper cells to resume work and strike again.”


“Ordinary Iraqis are paying the price of the political struggle in Baghdad,” he said.


Hassan al-Janabi, a 44-year-old hotel employee in Baghdad, said he has altered his routine to avoid crowded areas and rush hour traffic, which have been popular targets for insurgents seeking to maximize casualties.


“I believe the deteriorating security situation is connected to the political struggle and the fight between politicians over power and government,” he said. “I think that attacks will increase because regional countries will increase their interference in Iraq after the upcoming withdrawal of U.S. forces.”


The ability of insurgents to penetrate areas with tight security has raised questions about the readiness of Iraqi forces to take over their own security less than three months before all American combat troops are to leave the country, the first step toward a full withdrawal by the end of next year.


The Trade Bank of Iraq is in a commercial area surrounding Nisoor Square that includes a government agency that issues national identification cards and the telephone exchange building. Established after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, the bank is at the forefront of efforts to attract foreign investment.


Bank chairman Hussein al-Uzri said five guards were among the dead and six others were wounded. He blamed the attack on insurgents trying to undermine Iraq’s progress and promised they would fail.


“The work of building Iraq’s economic strength … goes on uninterrupted, as does the work of the bank, which will be open for business tomorrow,” he said in a statement Sunday.


In other violence, police and morgue officials said the decomposed bodies of six women and a man were found buried in the backyard of a deserted house in the religiously mixed Zayouna neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. The seven victims apparently were killed two to three months ago, the officials said.

Iraqi women are frequently killed by religious extremists who accuse them of behavior deemed un-Islamic.

Two people were killed in a roadside bombing targeting the convoy of the police chief in Duluiyah, a former insurgent stronghold north of Baghdad, although the police chief was not harmed.

Hospital officials also said a man wounded after police opened fire at a protest over power cuts in the southern oil hub of Basra had died, raising the number of demonstrators killed to two. The violence Saturday highlighted growing public anger over a lack of basic services in Iraq.

The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information to the media.

Al-Maliki has dispatched a team to Basra to address the problem.

Political rival Allawi called the protest a spontaneous outpouring of discontent and called for restraint from Iraqi security forces in a televised speech broadcast on the private Al-Sharqiyah TV station.

“Regretfully what happened formed a black mark in the march of Iraq toward prosperity and development as well construction and stability,” he said.

Source: SGGP

Taliban suicide attack kills NATO soldiers, civilians

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 at 5:03 am

A suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul on Tuesday killing 18 people, including five US soldiers, a Canadian colonel and 12 civilians in the deadliest strike on the capital in over a year.


The Taliban, which is leading a nearly nine-year insurgency against the Afghan government and its foreign backers, claimed responsibility for the bomb, having pledged a new nationwide campaign of attacks.

Afghan and foreign troops block a road at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul. A suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul on Tuesday killing 18 people, including five US soldiers, a Canadian soldier and 12 civilians in the deadliest strike on the capital in over a year

The attacker detonated the bomb during rush hour, unleashing blood and chaos on a clogged street near parliament and on a nearby hospital run by foreigners, an army recruitment centre and the ministry of water and energy.


Interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said 12 civilians were killed and 47 wounded. Most had been passing in a bus when the bomber blew up the car. Children and women were among the dead.


The NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed one of its convoys had been attacked and said six international soldiers — five of them from the United States — were killed and several others wounded.


Ottowa said the sixth soldier was a 42-year-old Canadian colonel, the highest ranking Candadian to die in the conflict since 2002.


The American University of Afghanistan was across the road from the bomb site and the Kabul museum was about 100 metres away.


A burnt-out vehicle sat crumpled in the street and Afghan civilians, some covered in blood, were being evacuated from the site. Among them was a little girl wearing school uniform black skirt and white headscarf, who was carried out by a volunteer, an AFP photographer said.


The Taliban militia are waging an increasingly deadly insurgency and attacks have increased over the past 12 months in the heavily guarded capital.


President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack. “The president called the attack an act against all human and Islamic principles and deemed the perpetrators brutal terrorists, who to achieve evil goals, grieved innocent Kabulis,” his office said.


NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen “strongly” condemned the attack but said the alliance remained “committed to its mission to protect the Afghan people and to strengthen Afghanistan’s ability to resist terrorism”.


The White House said the Taliban were offering the people of Afghanistan “only destruction”.


“They have so little respect for humanity they would murder Afghan civilians waiting for a bus. The United States and Afghan governments remain steadfast in our determination to build security, stability and opportunity for Afghanistan,” spokesman Bill Burton said.


The United Nations and European Union condemned the attack in statements released in Kabul.


Later Tuesday, NATO said two of its soldiers had been killed in the south of the country, one by an improvised explosive device, the weapon of choice for Taliban insurgents, and one by small arms fire.


At least 210 NATO soldiers, 130 of them from the United States, have died in the war so far this year. It has been the deadliest January to May period since a US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime in 2001.


The United States and NATO allies are deploying thousands of extra troops in the war, with the overall number due to peak at 150,000 by August, part of a new strategy designed to beat back the Taliban.


Washington believes this “surge” can wrest back the initiative in key population centres and allow US forces to start withdrawing from the unpopular and costly conflict next year.

Tuesday’s bombing was the first major attack in Kabul since February 26, when Taliban suicide bombers targeted guesthouses, killing 16 people including Westerners and Indians.

That was the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since the Taliban launched suicide bomb and gun attacks on three Afghan government buildings, killing at least 26 people in February 2009.

Zabihullah Mujahed, a Taliban spokesman, telephoned AFP from an undisclosed location to claim responsibility: “The attack, which was a suicide car bomb, was carried out by one of our mujahedeen”, or holy warriors, he said.

The Taliban had promised a new nationwide campaign of attacks from May 10 targeting diplomats, members of the Afghan parliament, foreign contractors and the 130,000-strong international military force.

Also on Tuesday, in the eastern province of Paktia, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a local administration headquarters after police opened fire on him, the interior ministry said. A police officer was killed, it said.

Two police officers and two soldiers were killed in separate Taliban-style roadside bombings in the southern province of Helmand, the interior and defence ministries said. The attacks were blamed on Taliban.

Source: SGGP

8 SKoreans found dead in apparent group suicide

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 at 8:51 am

Eight South Koreans were found dead in two separate cases of suspected group suicide, including five people who apparently inhaled toxic fumes together in a parked car, police said Thursday.


Four women and one man — all in their 20s and 30s — were presumed to have inhaled the fumes by burning coal briquettes inside a parked car in Hwaseong, just south of Seoul on Wednesday, police official Song Ui-chan said.


Song said two of the five left suicide notes, though he declined to elaborate on their contents. An investigation is under way to find out whether the five met and planned a suicide pact over the Internet, he said.


Separately, three men were found dead hours later in Chuncheon, about 85 kilometers (50 miles) east of Seoul, police said without elaborating.


South Korea — which has the highest suicide rate among the 30 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — has had a string of high-profile suicides in recent years.


Choi Jin-sil, one of South Korea’s most famous actresses committed suicide two years ago. In March, her younger brother, Choi Jin-young, also an actor, killed himself in Seoul.


Former President Roh Moo-hyun jumped to his death last May while embroiled in a widening corruption scandal, and the ex-chairman of South Korea’s oldest conglomerate, Park Yong-oh of the Doosan Group, killed himself in November.


Yoon Dae-hyun, a psychiatrist at Seoul National University Hospital and an official of the Korean Association for Suicide prevention, said group suicide is not uncommon in South Korea, where the suicide rate has risen in recent years.


“The authorities are cracking down on Internet sites instigating suicide,” Yoon said.

Source: SGGP

Suicide bombers kill 27 at Pakistan displaced camp

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

Twin suicide bombers struck a crowd of displaced people clamouring for aid handouts, killing at least 27 people on Saturday at a camp in northwest Pakistan, police said.


The bombers struck minutes apart in the Kacha Pukha camp on the outskirts of the garrison city of Kohat, a registration centre for people fleeing Taliban violence and Pakistani army operations close to the Afghan border.


The attacks underscored the grave threat still posed by extremists despite stepped up Pakistani offensives and a significant increase in US drone attacks targeting Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked commanders in the nearby tribal belt.


“At least 27 people have died. There are 45 wounded. The toll may go up,” Kohat police chief Dilawar Khan Bangash told AFP by telephone from the scene.

A Pakistani soldier patrols Kohat in February 2010. Twin suicide bombers killed 27 people as they detonated their explosives near a crowd of displaced people clamouring for aid handouts in northwest Pakistan

“Both were suicide attacks. Body parts of the suicide bombers have been recovered. The blasts took place at the relief distribution point for internally displaced people,” he said.


Bangash said the first bomber detonated his explosives while displaced people gathered to receive relief items. A few minutes later the second bomber blew himself up in the middle of the gathering crowd.


Other officials confirmed two blasts, but Khalid Omarzai, the local chief of administration, initially told Geo television station that the second had been a planted device.


Northwest Pakistan has suffered a major internal displacement of people as a result of Taliban violence and a series of military offensives concentrated on flushing out the armed Islamists from parts of the northwest and tribal belt.


The United Nations says 1.3 million people are currently displaced.


Pakistan’s latest military offensive and ongoing extremist violence have displaced at least 210,000 people from the tribal districts of Orakzai and Kurram, most of whom have registered in Kohat and Hangu towns.


Northwest Pakistan suffers from chronic insecurity largely connected to the neighbouring semi-autonomous tribal belt, which Washington calls the most dangerous place on Earth and a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.


A campaign of suicide and bomb attacks have killed more than 3,200 people in less than three years across the nuclear-armed country of 167 million, blamed on Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other extremist Islamist groups.


On Friday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the main hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing 10 people, in what police said was an apparent sectarian attack linked to the shooting of a Shiite banker.


Under US pressure, Pakistan has in the past year significantly increased operations against militants in its tribal belt, which became a stronghold for hundreds of extremists who fled Afghanistan after the 2001 US-led invasion.


Last year, a total of 3.1 million people were displaced from their homes in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province and the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border.


Nearly two million people have returned home, but uncertainty continues in the wake of ongoing clashes between troops and the Taliban.


Jean-Maurice Ripert, the UN special envoy in charge of humanitarian affairs for Pakistan, last week pressed donors for urgently needed funds for the displaced amid warnings that some aid projects may have to be cut.


Monday, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Pakistan, Martin Mogwanja, said in Islamabad that the world body had so far received only 106 million dollars from the donors, barely 20 percent of a total appeal for 537 million dollars.

Orakzai, the current focus of Pakistani military operations, is a former bastion of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Hakimullah Mehsud, whom US officials believe probably died in a US drone attack in January.

The Pakistani military says it has no evidence he is in the area.

Source: SGGP

Suicide bomber kills 38 at Pakistan political gathering

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 11:32 am

Map of Pakistan locating Lower Dir. A suicide bomber (AFP/Graphic)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) – A suicide bomber killed 38 people and wounded scores more at a celebration organised by the leading secular political party in northwest Pakistan on Monday, police said.


The suicide bomber attacked the open-air gathering in Timargarah, the main town in the district of Lower Dir, where Pakistan waged a major offensive against local Taliban insurgents last year.


Five blasts were also heard later on Monday in Peshawar, the main city in northwest Pakistan, but the cause was not immediately clear.


Residents in Timargarah reportedly said the bomb exploded close to the stage at the political gathering and police later confirmed it was a suicide attack.


“We have received 38 dead bodies,” Doctor Wakeel Ahmed, head of the main hospital in Timargarah told AFP. “There are more than 100 injured. Most of them are in a serious condition. I’m still sending out my ambulance.”


Timargarah police chief Mumtaz Zareen told AFP that it was a suicide attack, adding: “The man came on foot and detonated himself.”


The Awami National Party (ANP), the secular political party that dominates government in North West Frontier Province organised the meeting to celebrate plans to rename the province Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.


The new name honours the Pashtun-majority population in the province and is set to replace a name that dates back to British colonial rule.


“Our party had arranged a thanksgiving day to celebrate the changing of the name after 200 years of colonial legacy,” ANP spokesman Zahid Khan told Pakistan’s private Geo television.


Security is precarious in parts of Pakistan, where more than 3,150 people have been killed in suicide and bomb attacks over the last three years.


Most of the violence has been concentrated in the northwest and has been blamed on militants opposed to Pakistan’s alliance with the United States in the war on Al-Qaeda and against the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan.


Much of the instability stems from Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, which borders Lower Dir, and which Washington calls the most dangerous place on Earth, rife with homegrown Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters.


Suspected Taliban armed with petrol bombs and rockets attacked a terminal in the tribal district of Khyber before dawn on Monday, torching eight tankers used to supply fuel to NATO forces in Afghanistan, officials said.


Dozens of fighters launched the attack at Zakha Khel in the tribal district of Khyber, local administration chief Shafeerullah Wazir told AFP.


The tankers had recently returned from supplying NATO troops in Afghanistan, where around 126,000 foreign troops are trying to help the Western-backed government put down a nearly nine-year Taliban insurgency.


“There were eight oil tankers parked at the terminal and all were gutted,” said another official, Rehan Gul Khattak. The attack was launched by Taliban militants, he added.


Taliban and other extremist outfits frequently attack vehicles travelling through Khyber on the main NATO land supply route through Pakistan into Afghanistan.


The district is part of Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt along the Afghan border that Washington calls the most dangerous region on Earth, a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and a launch pad for attacks on NATO troops.


Under US pressure, Pakistan has in the past year significantly increased operations against militants in its tribal belt, following the 2009 offensive in Lower Dir and neighbouring districts Swat and Buner.


On February 3, a bomb blast claimed by the Taliban killed eight people in Lower Dir, including three US soldiers and children, at the opening of a school just rebuilt after an Islamist attack.

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Source: SGGP