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".



Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

ISIS does the unexpected in latest shocking execution images Watch

Image of The ISIS militants are photographed hugging the blindfolded accused gay men.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New images claim to show ISIS militants showing compassion. Two accused gay men were set to be stoned to death, however, prior to the stoning, their executioners did something strange and unexpected. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ISIS fighters were ... continue reading


White House admits fault: Two hostages accidentally killed in U.S. drone strike Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A U.S. counterterrorism operation targeting an al Qaeda compound in January accidentally killed two innocent hostages, including one American. President Barack Obama, making the announcement this week confirmed that a U.S. military drone that targeted the ... continue reading


U.S. warships monitoring Iranian traffic off coast of Yemen Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters that America has been clear in its messages to Tehran on sending weapons to Houthi rebels inside Yemen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States has deployed warships to Yemen in order to monitor nearby Iranian vessels. Officials say this gives America "options" on how it could react to Iran's behavior in the region. Ships traveling from Iran could be trafficking arms to Houthi rebels. ... continue reading


Tensions mount between U.S. and Iran over nuclear talks, Yemen Watch

Image of Iran's annual Army Day military parade showcased new weapon systems and banners that read

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On April 18 Iran marked its national Army Day with a military parade with intent to intimidate and threaten the west, especially the U.S. and Israel, showcasing new weapons systems and even a truck which carried a large banner that read "Death to Israel." LOS ... continue reading


ISIS takes over government functions: Birth certificates, vaccinations, 'till death do us part... Watch

Image of Unlike the Taliban, ISIS allows vaccinations against polio. While in the grip of Islamist State, polio vaccinations continue unabated throughout Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State, as in the nightmarish dictatorial regimes of past and present - Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy and present day North Korea have massive bureaucratic systems in order to oppress the citizen on every level. A peek into the brutal totalitarian ... continue reading


ISIS destroys Christian graves as part of horrific religious purge Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS continuously commits heinous acts waging purge and terror against other religions, documented through photos and videos shared online. Recently, the terrorist group released a set of undated photos showing militants armed with sledgehammers destroying Christian ... continue reading


Muslim migrants arrested for throwing Christians off vessel, victims feared dead Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fifteen Muslim migrants from Sicily were arrested after being accused of throwing 12 Christians overboard as they cross from Libya to Italy last Wednesday. According to the Palermo police, they detained the suspected perpetrators, while the victims are feared to be ... continue reading


Israeli Prime Minister warns of second Holocaust in memorial speech Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During his speech at a Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem for a commemorative event, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Israel's current state with the operations of Washington to that of the time of Hitler. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Israeli Jews remember Holocaust in remarkable way on 70th anniversary of Nazi death camp liberation (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People all across Israel came to a complete standstill for two-minutes to mark the Holocaust memorial day. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As sirens wailed across the country, the silence was echoing. Playgrounds, road traffic and beaches all came to a complete ... continue reading


Dead Sea dying as the River Jordan dries up Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dead Sea, the famed Biblical body of water tread by prophets and kings, is increasingly endangered by enormous sinkholes. Coupled with the fact that the River Jordan is evaporation the Dead Sea could be literally - dying. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... 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, Acts 11:19-26
19 Those who had scattered because of the persecution ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 87:1-3, 4-5, 6-7
1 [Of the sons of Korah Psalm Song] With its ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:22-30
22 It was the time of the feast of Dedication in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 28th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Chanel
April 28: In St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Feast day - April 28) ... 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