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December 2, 2009

Pakistani Member of Parliament killed by suicide bomber

Filed under: Archived,Asia,Eid al-Adha,Pakistan,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Pakistani Member of Parliament killed by suicide bomber

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

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A Pakistani provincial politician was killed earlier today by a teen-aged suicide bomber in the northwestern Swat valley.

Shamsher Ali Khan, a member of the Awami National Party, was receiving guests at his residence in the town of Kanju, when a young man, armed with explosives. walked into the grounds of the house. He blew himself up, killing Khan and injuring over twelve other people. According to police, two of the victim’s brothers were among those hurt. The blast was so strong it damaged portions of the building.

The guests were reportedly gathering to celebrate the end of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holy festival. “People were coming to exchange Eid greetings with him when a man came and blew himself up,” said a relative of the MP, Farooq Khan.



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December 11, 2008

Iraqi Restaurant hit by Suicide Bomber

Iraqi restaurant hit by suicide bomber – Wikinews, the free news source

Iraqi restaurant hit by suicide bomber

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The location of the bombing
Image: Anonymous101.

A suicide bombing in Iraq has killed at least 55 people and injured at least 120 more, according to local police. The suicide bomber struck at a restaurant located about 2 miles north of the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk on Thursday morning. The Abdullah restaurant, where the explosion took place, is popular among Kurdish officials. The attack comes on the Muslim religious holiday Eid al-Adha, known in English as the “Festival of Sacrifice”.

At the time the restaurant was struck, it was full of families marking the final day of Eid. Five women and three children were among the dead.

Kirkuk is the scene of ongoing ethnic tensions, although the reasons for this attack in particular are currently unknown.

Salam Abdullah, 45, was one of the people in the restaurant at the time of the attack. “I held my wife and led her outside the place. As we were leaving, I saw dead bodies soaked with blood and huge destruction,” he stated, commenting on his experiences. “We waited outside the restaurant for some minutes. Then an ambulance took us to the hospital.”

Awad al-Jubouri, who was injured in the incident, condemned the bombers. “I do not know how a group like al-Qaida claiming to be Islamic plans to attack and kill people on sacred days like Eid. We were only meeting to discuss our problems with the Kurds and trying to impose peace among Muslims in Kirkuk.” Jubouri is a tribal leader, who was attending a lunch that was intended to precede a meeting discussing was to lessen tensions between local communities.

Last July, an affiliated restaurant of the same name was the site of a suicide bombing which claimed the lives of six and wounded twenty five.



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December 25, 2007

Leaders throughout the world deliver Christmas messages

Leaders throughout the world deliver Christmas messages

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

International leaders have issued Christmas time messages:

Australia

In his first Christmas address as Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd called on his nation to drive safely during the holiday season, noting that his father was killed in a vehicle collision in the late 1960s. Rudd also commended the nation’s charities for helping the less fortunate, and Australian troops serving abroad.

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The Bahamas

As Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s extended Christmas greetings, he noted various challenges such as the economic downturn on Grand Bahama island and the heavy rainfall damage sustained in some regions in October and November. The nation prepares to celebrate its Junkanoo festival on Wednesday.

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Belgium

The Christmas and New Year’s address of Belgium’s King Albert called for national harmony among the national cultures, chiefly the Flemish and Walloon groups. This follows a year in which a national government could not be assembled for many months since elections in June.

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Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Christmas message paid tribute to the nation’s generous spirit whose “purest expression today is the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, where our soldiers, diplomats and aid workers are, at great cost to themselves helping the Afghan people rebuild their shattered country.” He noted the significant anniversaries to come in 2008 such as the 150 years since the founding of British Columbia colony and the 400 years since Quebec City was created by Samuel de Champlain.

Some controversy arose as the Prime Minister’s greeting omitted the Islamic Eid-ul-Adha observance, while including Hanukkah and Christmas.

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Liberia

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia, noted progress in the country’s labour and economic situations during her Christmas address.

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Philippines

From the Philippines, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ‘s Christmas message included a tribute to the nation’s 8 million overseas workers, extending gratitude to their host nations.

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Turkey

Turkish President Abdullah Gül issued a Christmas message on Monday expressing wishes for unity and tolerance in the nation. Although Turkey is a largely Islamic nation, the President indicated its Christian citizens were “equal members of the Turkish nation”.

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United States

American President George Bush’s brief Christmas statement began with a passage from the Gospel of Luke foretelling the Nativity of Jesus, then gave “thanks for Christ’s message of love and mercy” while remembering the nation’s “responsibility to serve”.

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United Kingdom

Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas message began and ended footage from her 1957 Christmas address, the first message from a British Monarch to be televised. Her 2007 address mentioned family, the work of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the need for charity. A recently-introduced royal YouTube channel also presented the Queen’s Christmas message for Internet viewers.

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The Vatican

Pope Benedict delivered his Christmas “Urbi et orbi” to many thousands at Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City after celebrating the traditional Christmas Midnight Mass service. The pontiff remembered the world’s war-torn regions including Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans, calling for the light of Christ to “shine forth and bring consolation to those who live in the darkness of poverty, injustice and war.” He decried the various injustices and conflicts, noting these “are destroying the internal fabric of many countries and embittering international relations.”

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December 21, 2007

Death toll from Pakistan train crash officially lowered to 40

Death toll from Pakistan train crash officially lowered to 40

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Pakistan
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The official death toll for a recent derailment in Pakistan has been lowered from 58 deaths to 40. The Karachi Express from Karachi to Lahore left the rails at high speed in Sindh province.

At least 115 passengers were injured in the crash, of which ten remain in hospital. Most of them were returning from the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha.

Fourteen of the sixteen cars that comprised the service were derailed. The force of the accident, which occurred near Mehrabpur, about 250 miles from Karachi, was such that two were completely destroyed and the rails were severely damaged.

Junaid Qureshi, director of operations at state owned Pakistan Railways, who operate the service, said that the official figures are now 40 dead and 269 injured. Most of the casualties were in the two carriages that were destroyed. “The position now is that there are 40 dead,” Qureshi told reporters, adding that the original figure appeared sourceless. “I do not know where they (the officials) got it from.”

He went on to say that of the 40 deceased, 39 bodies had been returned to families, whilst one body remained unidentified and is currently awaiting being claimed at a morgue in Karachi.

However, there are still conflicting reports about the number of casualties. Representatives of the Edhi Foundation, Pakistan’s largest private emergency service provider, which attended the scene, said that the foundation had removed 45 bodies from the wreckage, while Mohammed Shafi Toor, head of the state-owned hospital at Mehrabpur, put the figures at 46 dead and 290 injured.

Meanwhile, an official inquiry has been launched. “The inquiry is underway and will be completed within the next five days,” said Pakistan Railways Secretary Ghiasuddin, continuing to say that the panel conducting the investigation will make recommendations as a result of it’s findings. It is believed the track failed due to extremely low temperatures.

Officials have re-opened the line having repaired the damaged section.



Related news

  • “Pakistani train derailment kills at least 56” — Wikinews, December 19, 2007

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Mehrabpur train derailment



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December 19, 2007

Pakistani train derailment kills at least 56

Pakistani train derailment kills at least 56

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pakistan
Other stories from Pakistan
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Location of Pakistan

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Early this morning, an express passenger train (carrying about 700 passengers) derailed in Pakistan, leaving at least 56 dead and 150 more injured. At least ten of the carriages that comprised the service between Karachi and Lahore left the track and fell down an embankment, ripping them apart.

The disaster occurred some 250 miles north of Karachi at 2:00 a.m. PST (UTC+5). Pakistan Railways says it appears the derailment, which sent carriages hurtling into a waterlogged field adjacent to the track, was caused by extreme cold, which in turn caused a welded joint in the track to contract and split. Brigadier Nazhar Jamil, head of an army rescue team presently on-site, said he believed another possible cause was excessive speed in combination with inadequate maintenance.

State-run PTV said that Asad Saeed, General Manager of Pakistan Railways, had told them “A welded track joint broke. Tracks shrink in winter. There are many forces on the track and sometimes this joint breaks.” He went on to rule out terrorist involvement and point out that the tracks are old and the government is midway through a programme to replace them. He said other services were not affected.

Cquote1.svg A welded track joint broke. Tracks shrink in winter. There are many forces on the track and sometimes this joint breaks. Cquote2.svg

—Asad Saeed, Pakistan Railways

The violence of the crash ripped carriages apart, leaving wreckage strewn across the surrounding area. A segment of one of the rails was torn up, and the engine came to rest approximately a mile away from the initial site of the derailment. Sources vary on how many carriages were involved. The Times says ten carriages derailed and does not state the total number in the train, while Sky News reports that twelve of the train’s sixteen carriages derailed and Xinhua gives the numbers as fifteen cars of a seventeen-car train. Reports on passenger numbers also vary, with the train carrying between 700 and 900 passengers, mostly returning from the Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Adha.

Jamil told reporters that many lives were saved by local residents, who rushed many of the wounded to hospital using rickshaws, scooters and donkey-drawn carts. Army engineers had to free the last survivors from the wreckage using two rail-mounted cranes and cutting equipment. One of the last to be rescued was a three-year-old girl, who’s foot was seriously injured.

Police and soldiers carried the wounded to waiting ambulances, which rushed them to three nearby hospitals.

President Pervez Musharraf has ordered an immediate inquiry, which will be conducted by Pakistan Railways. The inquiry will examine whether any responsibility must be taken by any of those involved, as well as ways of preventing another similar disaster from taking place.

Fatal train accidents occur with some regularity in Pakistan, a problem frequently exacerbated by overcrowding. This is the worst accident since the Ghotki rail crash in 2005. Over 120 people were then killed as the Karachi Express—the same service as in this accident—hit a train that had broken down from behind; the wreckage from both these trains was then struck by a third passenger express. The driver of the Karachi Express had misread a signal.



Related news

  • “Train crash in southern Pakistan kills more than a hundred” — Wikinews, July 13, 2005

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January 3, 2007

Saddam\’s co-defendants to be executed Thursday

Saddam’s co-defendants to be executed Thursday

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Saddam Hussein
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Saddam Hussein in July 2004

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Two co-defendants who were scheduled to hang with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein will instead be executed Thursday, according to an Iraqi government official.

Details still need to be worked out with the American military, but the two are expected at the gallows after Islam’s Eid al-Adha holiday, which ends today.

File:Barzan ibrahim.jpg

Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam’s half-brother and former intelligence chief
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Saddam’s half-brother Barzan Ibrahim, a former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were sentenced to death for their roles in the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims in the Iraqi town of Dujail in 1982, following a failed assassination on the then-dictator.

Saddam was hanged before dawn Saturday, before Eid, for the same crimes.

Since then, Saddam loyalists and Sunni Muslims have expressed outrage at the way in which he was killed. A three-minute video shot on a cellphone and leaked to the Internet shows witnesses and the executioners taunting Saddam before his death.

The Iraqi government launched an investigation into the video and on Wednesday arrested one of the guards believed to have shot it.

Reaction to the hanging has been mixed around the world. Even in the U.S., the State Department has condemned the taunting, while President George W. Bush hailed Saddam’s death “a milestone.”


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January 1, 2007

World reacts to execution of Saddam Hussein

World reacts to execution of Saddam Hussein

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Monday, January 1, 2007

Saddam Hussein
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Saddam Hussein in July 2004

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The execution of Saddam Hussein elicited critical statements by governments from around the world and also by non-governmental organisations.

The United States, Australia, Iran and some Polish politicians saw positive effects of the execution. George W. Bush said it was a “milestone” on the way to a democratic Iraq. Also, many Iranian politicians think that the execution was a “victory for the Iraqi people”. The Polish foreign minister said he was an opponent of death penalty, but would make an exception in this case. Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer referred to the death of Saddam Hussein as an “important step” on the way towards a historical judgement of Hussein’s “tyrannous regime”. He thinks that it will lead to an opportunity to strengthen the process of reconciliation.

Other European countries were at odds with this response. These include the U.K., Finland, France, Switzerland, the Vatican and Germany, which stand for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. The main reason given by them was that even incredibly heinous crimes do not justify execution. The Vatican’s spokesperson, Federico Lombardi, said that there was “the risk that it would incite people to seek revenge and produce more violence”. Germany’s minister of state in the Office for Foreign Affairs, Erler, said that Saddam Hussein’s crimes could not be doubted, but the German government would stay with its general attitude of rejecting death penalty.

Russia also expressed regret for the execution. An official of the Russian Office for Foreign Affairs, Michail Kamynin, warned against an intensification of the military and political situation in Iraq and against a rise of ethnical-confessional tensions. Libya ordered a three-day national mourning. Head of state Ghadhafi stopped all celebrations and ceremonies for the Eid al-Adha half-masting all flags on governmental buildings. The Palestinian foreign minister criticised the execution, too. There had often been disagreements, but nevertheless, the execution had been wrong, he said.

The organisation “Human Rights Watch” criticised the proceedings against Hussein as having “shown severe deficiencies”. The World Council of Churches expressed its critical attitude towards the execution of Saddam Hussein: “Every time a person’s life is taken it is part of a big tragedy.” Amnesty international very much criticised the proceedings: the execution was apparently a foregone conclusion. The appeal court had only created the impression of legitimacy in flawed proceedings, they said.

The Council of Europe condemned the execution and called on Iraq to abolish the death penalty.

Meanwhile, at 4:00 a.m. this morning local time (1:00 a.m. (GMT)), the former leader’s remains were buried in Awja, close to Tikrit, the home town of Hussein, as reported by CNN.

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