Friday, December 10, 2010

Suicide car bomber rams hospital in Hangu, Pakistan

It's that time of the year when the Sunni militants step up their campaign of murderous suicide attacks against the Shiites. Why now, you ask. It is the start of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar when the Shiites commemorate the death of Imam Hussein (the grand-son of Prophet Muhammad) who was brutally murdered along with his family and friends at the banks of Euphrates in Iraq. The Omayyad Caliph, Yazeed, orchestrated the mass murder of the Prophet's family to take over control of the rapidly growing Muslim empire. Any living descendant of the Prophet's family would have questioned Yazeed's legitimacy to the throne, which he inherited from his father, Muawwiya.

So here is the schism that has plagued Islam over the past 1400-plus years. Those who sided with the Prophet's family, the Shiites, have always been in minority and have been attacked by those who sided with, and continue to support, Omayyads and their present-day decedents, the Wahabis based in Saudi Arabia.

The past week has witnessed an increase in suicide bombings in Pakistan where the Saudi-backed Sunni extremists have killed almost a 100 Sunni moderates and Shiites in suicide bombings.

Given that this conflict between the Shiites and the Sunnis continues to generate victims 1400 years hence, I have not much confidence in the Muslim ethos to resolve conflicts effectively. How many more centuries before this killing of Muslims at the hands of other Muslims would cease?

BBC News - Suicide car bomber rams hospital in Hangu, Pakistan

A suicide bomber has rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a hospital, killing 11 people in north-west Pakistan, say police.
Another 16 people were injured by the blast at the Shia Muslim-run facility in Hangu district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to police.
The explosion follows the start of the Islamic holy month of Muharram, which is especially important for Shias.
Meanwhile, a US drone plane killed four people in the neighbouring tribal belt.
Investigators suspect Friday's suicide bombing on the outskirts of Hangu was a sectarian attack. Sunni militant groups often target Shias during Muharram.
"A car rammed into the hospital while people were praying in a hall and we have reports of at least 11 killed," the news agency Reuters quoted Hangu police chief Abdul Rashid as saying.
A tractor and trailer carrying 250kg (550lb) of explosives were used for the attack, Hangu police spokesman Fazal Naeem told news agency AFP.
It was the fourth major suicide attack this week in Pakistan.
On Monday, two bombers killed more than 40 people as they attacked anti-Taliban militia talks in Mohmand, in the north-western tribal belt.
On Tuesday, a suicide attacker failed in an attempt to assassinate the chief minister of Pakistan's south-western province of Balochistan.
On Wednesday, a bomber blew himself up near a minibus in the town of Kohat, not far from Hangu, killing at least 16 people.
Friday's air strike on a vehicle and house in Khadar Khel, North Waziristan, killed four militants, according to Pakistani officials.
The report is difficult to verify because the region, which lies on the Afghan border, is one of the most dangerous in the world.
It would be the second drone strike in the region this week. The frequency of such attacks has increased under the administration of US President Barack Obama.
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