Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Qaiser Felix

9/22/2008 (6 years ago)

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

The massacre that killed 53 people and wounded another 266.It is being called a Pakistani "9/11".

Highlights

By Qaiser Felix

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

9/22/2008 (6 years ago)

Published in Middle East


ISLAMABAD (AsiaNews) - Pakistani security forces have launched a manhunt to flush out those responsible for the bombing attack on Saturday evening (about 7:30 PM local time) that ripped apart the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, killing 53 people - including the Czech ambassador to Pakistan, Ivo Zdarek - and wounding at least 266.

Today, police arrested three people at a mosque in Kharian, a city in the province of Punjab; according to the Dawn News channel, those arrested include Qari Muhammad Ali, the imam of the city's mosque. In a similar operation in the city of Gujranwala, also in the eastern province of Punjab, two activists connected to Al Qaeda were arrested, one of whom has been sought for some time for an assassination attempt on former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf. There is no official information, however, on the operations underway and on possible further developments.

According to the Pakistani television station Geo TV, emergency responders have finished their work amid the rubble of the hotel, exploring all of the 298 rooms looking for new victims or possible survivors. Engineers say the structure and foundation of the building, although they suffered serious damage following the devastating explosion - from almost 1,000 kilograms of explosives loaded into a truck - withstood the blast, and there is no danger of a future collapse. Confirmation is also coming from the Pakistani owner of the Marriott, Sadruddin Hashwani, who says that he intends to rebuild the structure within three months, and that none of the employees will lose their jobs.

For security reasons, however, British Airways has decided to suspend its flights to Pakistan in anticipation of further developments.

There is unanimous condemnation of the attack from the political and religious world, many referring to it as a "Pakistani 9/11", comparing it to the massacre in America in September of 2001. Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has said that the true targets of the attack were parliament and the offices of the prime minister, but because security forces had been deployed there, the suicide bomber changed the target at the last moment. He does not rule out collaborating with U.S. intelligence - "if the need arises", the prime minister emphasizes - to discover the masterminds of the attack, and is calling the country "to calm and unity". Gillani adds that "poverty, backwardness, and the lack of prospects" are elements that contribute to spreading discontent in tribal areas, and for this reason the government is planning a "massive development campaign" to support the local economy.

The Catholic Church also "condemns the suicide attack", and expresses its "condolences to the relatives of the victims". Contacted by AsiaNews, the archbishop of Lahore and president of the Pakistani bishops' conference, Lawrence John Saldanha, denounces the killing of "innocent victims", and stresses that he will pray for them and their relatives. This prayer was extended to all the churches of Pakistan, on the occasion of yesterday's Sunday Mass. Fr Bonnie Mendes, a Catholic priest of the diocese of Faisalabad, affirms that "the war on terror" has become a "domestic issue for Pakistan", and that the country must "unite" in a struggle to defeat "the terrorists". "An attack of this magnitude", Fr Mendes concludes, "is a signal from the terrorists; they want to tell us that they are capable of striking anyone, anywhere in the country".




Comments


More Middle East

HORRIFIC video shows Islamic State stoning Yazidi woman - by group of men, including HER father Watch

Image of In a related incident, a man was executed in Idlib province in an area controlled by Islamist groups including the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official affiliate in Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sickening video of a young woman being stoned to death by a group of men, which includes her own father, has been released by Islamic State. The video is believed to have been filmed in the city of Hama. The clip shows a bearded cleric ranting at the woman in ... continue reading


Yazidi woman 'I've been raped 30 times and it's not even lunchtime!' Watch

Image of A Yazidi woman over the telephone that she had been raped so frequently that she could no longer use the toilet. She says that her despair is so great she will commit suicide - even if she is freed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A young Yazidi woman held captive by the Islamic State for repeated sexual abuse says that she was raped 30 times in just a few hours. Kept prisoner, she now begs the West to bomb the brothel where she is being held. It's believed that she's being kept prisoner ... continue reading


Islamic State has infiltrated INSIDE of Turkey with attempt to kidnap Syrian leader Watch

Image of Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the nation. The incident has raised questions of Ankara's commitment to defeating the terror group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Islamic State fighters batter the Syrian city of Kobani near the border with Turkey, ISIS agents are apparently now currently operating within the nation of Turkey. Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the ... continue reading


Jack 'the acid' Ripper: Suspects arrested in connection with acid attacks against women in Iran Watch

Image of Though the attacks have instilled fear in some women in the city, many continue to live their lives without apologies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of people suspected of throwing acid at women. Its' believed that the women were wearing their traditional Islamic head covering improperly. The public had grown increasingly angry over the series of attacks in the ... continue reading


Sectarian violence spreads in Yemen, where Shi'ite militia square off against al-Qaeda Watch

Image of A member of the Shi'ite military Houthi organization.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni city was taken by al Qaeda fighters, and 33 people were killed by a suicide bombing and gun fighting during the group's challenge to the Yemeni government. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is just the latest bout of violence that has erupted in ... continue reading


Al Qaeda launches 'magazine war' with Islamic State in effort to attract new recruits Watch

Image of Resurgence, the new magazine for Al Qaeda.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Al Qaeda is attempting to make a comeback in the public eye following the stunning rise of the competing Islamic State. In an online publication, aimed at a global audience, the terror group is encouraging attacks at economic infrastructure. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Pope Francis - Petitions UN, Muslims and Christians to address 'ongoing genocide' in Iraq Watch

Image of An Iraqi man flees with children on a donkey amid hundreds of other refugees. Christians and other ethnic minorities have been driven from their ancient homelands and into camps.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has once again spoken out about the atrocities being committed in the Middle East by the Islamic State, labeling them "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis lamented, "it seems that the ... continue reading


Islamic State takes mounting death count in Syria Watch

Image of Both Kurdish and Iraqi forces have been battling ISIS on the ground.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State has taken heavy casualties over the past several days. At least 70 fighters for the terror group have been dropped off over the past several days at a hospital in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad. The town is on the Turkey-Syrian border about 50 miles ... continue reading


Christians, Yazidis and Turkmen face genocide in Iraq Watch

Image of At least half a million people have been forced to flee their villages in Ninewa province, home to minority communities for thousands of years, according to the report, From Crisis to Catastrophe: the situation of minorities in Iraq.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

More than 12,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq so far this year, mainly by Islamic State (IS), and minorities facing ethnic cleansing are the principal victims, according to a report published on Thursday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Minority Rights ... continue reading


Deadly Sarin bombs now in hands of Islamic State Watch

Image of Officials warned that they had witnessed equipment there being looted on CCTV whereupon the militants shut the surveillance cameras down.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An even more alarming fact has risen to the fore in the war in the Middle East, ISIS controls a vast compound in Iraq containing 2,500 rusting chemical weapons rockets, according to the Iraqi government. While the site was bombed by the U.S. during the 1991 ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:14-21
14 This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
1 Shout for joy, you upright; praise comes well from ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2014 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, the son of a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter