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December 18, 2014

Nation mourns, world condemns Taliban attack on Pakistan army school

Nation mourns, world condemns Taliban attack on Pakistan army school

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

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In the wake of Tuesday’s high-school attack by the Pakistani Taliban (TTK) on an army public school, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a three-day period of official mourning. In addition to condemnation from world leaders — who include UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, and Deputy director David Griffiths of Amnesty International — news agency Reuters are reporting the Afghan Taliban have also issued a statement condemning the attack.

The statement carried by Reuters, claiming to be from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, reads: “The intentional killing of innocent people, children and women are against the basics of Islam and this criteria has to be considered by every Islamic party and government.” Tuesday’s attack on the Army Public School in Pakistan‘s north-western city of Peshawar claimed the lives of 132 children, and nine staff from the school.

Official reports, following police and military action against the attackers, insist seven people took part in the school attack; although a statement, issued by the TTK, insists there were only six, their targets being older pupils. The attack began in the mid morning local time, with the assailants observed entering the compound wearing suicide vests. Shortly thereafter, shots were heard with survivors reporting the gunmen were shooting people indiscriminately, going from classroom to classroom, killing teachers and students as they found them.

The massacre sparked a public outcry, both national and international; which, press speculate, led to the TTK stressing the intent to only target older students at the army school.

Turkey announced one day of national mourning. Described as impossible to justify and “blood-curdling” by the UN Secretary-General, EU Parliamentary President Schulz labelled the attack “abominable and cowardly [demonstrating] the inhuman attitude of the Taliban, their inhuman ideology, their remorseless fanaticism”, and Indian Nobel Prize-winner Kailash Satyarthi, condemned the attackers as “enemies of Allah” and stated: “The militants, be they Taliban or any other militants, who kill children, are the enemies of humanity. This attack is a blot on humanity”.

In addition to a three-day period of national mourning, President Sharif reintroduced Pakistan’s death penalty.



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May 18, 2010

Afghanistan: Suicide attackers kill several people in Kabul

Afghanistan: Suicide attackers kill several people in Kabul

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

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A car bomb attack this morning, which targeted a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) convoy in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, has killed or wounded dozens of people. The death toll was not confirmed, and estimates range from ten to twenty deaths. 47 people were injured in the attack.

The incident occurred at the Darulaman crossroads, near a US-Afghan military base and the parliament. Six NATO troops died in the attack alongside several civilians. The NATO said they had sealed off the region. The bomber had been driving a car filled with explosives, which they detonated at around 0815 local time [0415 GMT].

Iain Baxter, a spokesman for Isaf (International Security Assistance Force), stated: “An Isaf convoy was hit. At the moment we’re trying to confirm the number of Isaf casualties.” He could not confirm the number of Isaf personnel killed in the attack.

Zemarai Bashary, an Interior Ministry spokesperson confirmed the attack, noting that “[t]here are a number of casualties, civilians killed and wounded.” The death toll is unclear, and we’re checking all the hospitals,” he added.

Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, said it was a “heartbreaking” attack. “We are condemning the attack in the strongest terms. I hope Afghanistan will soon get out of this suffering, God willing,” he commented on national television.

General Ahmad Zia Yaftali, the chief military doctor of the Afghan army, claimed twenty people had been killed. “We have five bodies brought to our hospital so far […] the number of the dead is more than 20,” Yaftali told Agence France-Presse news agency.

Later, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying a resident of Kabul, Nizamuddin, had been sent to “destroy five foreign vehicles and damage one more.” “Today’s attack was part of the Al Fatah operation and we will continue attacking foreigners and government security forces and their associates,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson said. The latter had 1,500 pounds of explosives in his Toyota van. NATO officials said five US military convoys were destroyed along with a further thirteen public vehicles. One of the vehicles to be destroyed was a bus filled with people.



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January 27, 2010

Suicide bomber attacks US base in Afghanistan

Suicide bomber attacks US base in Afghanistan

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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A car bomb exploded today at the gates of a U.S. military base, just outside the Afghan capital of Kabul. According to officials, at least twelve people received injuries. The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident occurred just outside an US installation dubbed “Camp Phoenix”. This is mainly used by American troops which train Afghan security forces.

Camp Phoenix is often attacked by insurgents, particularly suicide bombers. In mid-November, an attack in Camp Phoenix, injured 25 people, half of them American soldiers.

The Taliban was the group that claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesperson for the bombers, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed in a telephone interview that the bomber had allegedly “killed and wounded” ten American soldiers and demolished three military vehicles.

Asked about that claim, an American military spokeswoman, Air Force Master Sgt. Sabrina D. Foster, said that a statement would be issued soon but that in the meantime she could confirm only eight United States personnel with minor wounds. According to Kabul police chief, Abdul Rahman, three of those injured were American interpreters.

Sayed Abdul Ghafar, head of the criminal investigation, Kabul police, said the explosion demolished at least eleven civilian vehicles in the adjoining area. Eight were wounded, most of whom were day laborers who generally would be leaving the base after a day’s work. All were reported to be stable by Interior Ministry spokesman, Zemary Bashary.

“The target of the suicide attacker seemed to be foreign forces, but we couldn’t see any American vehicle damaged there because the road was blocked by American forces. We don’t know exactly the casualties among the foreign forces,” said Ghafar.

The American troops soon blocked the area, and barred access to the highway. “They won’t even let the Afghan National Police near it,” said an Afghan policeman near the place where the attack occurred.

It was the first suicide bombing in Kabul since January 18. In the previous attack, several bombs had been detonated by the attackers, who also fought with Afghan commandos. The situation was brought under control soon; however five people were killed. Earlier today, Afghan intelligence officials provided another statement about this attack; this statement is probably the one with most details.

During a news conference, they showed a video which was about an Afghan man arrested for allegedly assisting in the attack. In the video, the man, named Kamaluddin, claimed that he received his orders from the Haqqani network. The latter is a militant organization based in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area. He calmly clarified that he had housed the seven attackers before the attack and had provided them with several weapons.



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