After yesterday’s brutal attack on Shias in a hospital in Quetta, terrorists of Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba have struck Shias once again, this time in a refugee camp in Kohat, killing more than 40 persons.
Two suicide bombings at a refugee camp in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) Saturday (17 April 2010) killed at least 41 people and injured 64, police said.
The attacks in the Kacha Pakka area of Kohat district appeared to be aimed at the Shiite Muslims among the thousands who have fled the fighting in the tribal district of Orazkzai.
One bomber detonated his explosives among people queuing up for daily government issue rations, provincial police spokesman Fazal Naeem said.
Seven minutes later, as rescue work got underway, a second suicide bomber struck, he said.
‘Forty-one people have been killed and 64 injured, including 10 seriously,’ Naeem said. ‘We have recovered the severed heads of both attackers.’
Mubashir Khan, an official at the state-run hospital in Kohat also confirmed that 41 died in the twin blasts. He put the number of wounded to 60.
The police spokesman said the victims, most of them Shiite Muslims, were displaced by the fighting between Taliban militants and the army in Orakzai district.
‘It is clearly a sectarian attack since it was directed mainly against the Shiites,’ Naeem said. Two vests used in the attacks contained between eight to 10 kilometres of explosives each, he said.
Hours after the attack, Salman Haider, a purported spokesman of the banned and staunchly anti-Shiite group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al- Aalimi claimed responsibility for the attack.
‘Our targets in the attack were the Shiites,’ Haider said. ‘We have retaliated for the murder of two Shiite women who had recently converted to Sunni Islam,’ he told reporters over the phone. ‘Shiite people killed these women.’
Pakistan has a long history of sectarian violence between extremist groups from majority Sunni and minority Shiite Muslim groups. (LUBP Editor’s note: Wrong. Majority of Sunnis are peaceful citizens like majority of Shias. It is extremist Deobanids belonging to Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban who hold intolerant and violent sectarian ideology towards Shia Muslims.)
The rivalry has intensified since the spread of influence of the Sunni-dominated Taliban influence in the border areas near Afghanistan.
Orakzai has been at the centre of sectarian violence, with militants led by Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud regularly targeting Shiites.
According to the United Nations, 210,000 people have abandoned their homes since the military offensive began in late 2009. They include some 50,000 refugees who fled when the military launched a ground offensive last month.
On Friday, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a hospital in Quetta, the capital of south-western Balochistan province. Eleven people, most of them Shias, including a senior police officer, died in that attack. A member of the national parliament from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party was one of the 28 injured. The bomber struck when a large number of Shias had gathered at the hospital to protest against the killing of a Shia banker, who was shot by unidentified gunmen.
Last year, in a similar attack on Pakhtun Shias, a suicide car bombing at a crowded market in the Kuccha Pakka area on September 18, 2009 had killed 40 people and injured 60 others.
Source 1, Source 2
Burqa-clad bombers follow the tradition of their leader, Mullah Abdul Aziz of Islamabad’s Lal Majsid
Two burqa-clad suicide bombers struck a food distribution camp for people displaced by anti-militancy operations in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 38 people and injuring about 65 others.
Both suicide bombers were clad in burqas, Geo News reported. The head and legs of the bombers and pieces of the burqas worn by them were found by investigators, the channel said.
Lashkar-e-Jhangi (an off shoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba, also known as the Punjabi Taliban) claims responsibility
The bombers struck minutes apart in the camp, a registration centre for people fleeing Taliban violence and army operations close to the Afghan border.
“The toll in the two suicide attacks is 41 dead and more than 60 wounded,” DIG Kohat Abdullah Khan told Geo News.
Meanwhile, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Alami called Geo News correspondent and claimed the responsibility of the attack.
Body parts of the bombers were recovered and most of the victims were members of the Mani Khel and Baramad Khel tribes who had gathered for registration after fleeing fighting in their home district of Orakzai, sources said.
The first bomber detonated his explosives while displaced people gathered to register and receive relief items. A few minutes later the second bomber blew himself up in the middle of the gathering crowd.