Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Qaiser Felix

9/22/2008 (5 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 (5 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

'I will not let another Holocaust happen!' Sign the petition in support of Iraqi Christians forced to flee from persecution Watch

Image of Christians in Mosul embrace one another as they are forced to leave absolutely everything behind at gunpoint.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The plight of Iraq's Christians has now lasted longer than a decade, and recent militant uprisings in Mosul threaten to expunge the neighboring Chaldean-Assyrian-Syriac villages. Iraqi Christians have fled Mosul in droves, but some remain behind, awaiting their ... continue reading


WARNING VERY GRAPHIC UNCENSORED CONTENT: Islamic State terrorists from Australia pose with the severed heads of their captives - CHRISTIANS ARE NEXT Watch

Image of Mohamed Elomar poses with a pair of his victim's heads, taking delight in the slaughter of fellow Muslims.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a gruesome series of images, an Islamic State terrorist is tweeting images of a friend posing with the severed heads of decapitated victims. Terrorist, Mohamed Elomar who was born in Australia and traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State is clearly having a good ... continue reading


ISIS denies claims that they will enforce mandatory female genital mutilation Watch

Image of Stories of intended FGM in Iraq have been circulating in the local media for the past few days.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They've seized Iraqi towns, blown up shrines and have threatened the nation's Christian minority - but ISIS is now hotly denying that they intend to enforce mandatory female genital mutilation. As claimed by a senior United Nations humanitarian official this ... continue reading


BLOWN TO BITS: Video surfaces of Jonah's tomb being destroyed Watch

Image of Militants belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, are said to have planted explosives around the tomb and detonated the explosion remotely.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's horrific footage, and many pray that it was faked - but knowing of the ruthlessness of the people involved, it probably wasn't. Jonah's tomb, a holy shrine in Mosul, Iraq is depicted being blown to bits. The demolition of this shrine occurred in seconds. ... continue reading


FIERY STATEMENT: Jihadi cleric threatens Egyptian president Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The war of words after Israel's incursion into Gaza is heating up. Jihadi cleric Abu hareth Al-Maqdisi threatening Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, vowing that his time is coming soon. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "You won't sit for long in your ... continue reading


LIPS BURNT WITH CIGARETTE: Iranian Christian punished for not observing Ramadan Watch

Image of Muslims are required to not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For eating during the daylight hours during the holy month of Ramadan, an Iranian Christian man had his lips burned with a cigarette. This monstrous sentence was carried out in full view of the public in the city of Kermanshah. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Islamic State now aggressively pursuing Christians in Nineveh Plain Watch

Image of There are very real concerns about the possible genocide of Christians in the region. Christians in the country cannot wait for help from the international community.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is no rest for the wicked - or for those fleeing with their lives, it appears. Islamic State militants have now launched a mortar attack against the village of Tilkif in an attempt to break into one of the towns in the Nineveh Plain, where families driven ... continue reading


ISLAMIC STATE PREPARES CHRISTIAN HOLOCAUST Watch

Image of Iraqi Christians are being forced to flee Mosul or be put to death. It's the start of a campaign of genocide. Leave with nothing or die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Imagine you've been given a choice, and just days to make it. You must either change your religion, agree to pay thousands of dollars each year in punishing taxes, or you must leave your home with just the clothes on your back. No suitcases, no possessions. If you ... continue reading


Christian Monks expelled from Iraqi monastery as ISIS Islamists fighters ruthlessly sieze it Watch

Image of An image made available by the jihadist Twitter account Al-Baraka news on June 11, 2014 allegedly shows militants of the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waving the Islamic Jihad flag and holding up their weapons as a vehicle drives on a newly cut road through the Syrian-Iraqi border between the Iraqi Nineveh province and the Syrian town of Al-Hasakah.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saint Behnam, a fourth-century monastery run by the Syriac Catholic church near the predominantly Christian town of Qaraqosh in Iraq has been overrun by jihadists. Members of the Islamic State expelled the monks from the monastery this past weekend, sources ... continue reading


THINGS TO COME? ISIS stones Syrian woman to death over 'adultery charges' Watch

Image of Many fear that the recent stoning incident proves that ISIS will impose a brutal regime over the areas they seize.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Al-Qaeda-breakaway group, the Islamic State, has now stoned a woman to death for adultery in Syria. It was the first such execution carried out in the region, and depicts the stranglehold this radical group now has over the region of northern Syria. LOS ... 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, Sirach 44:1, 10-15
1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:11, 13-14, 17-18
11 Yahweh has sworn to David, and will always remain ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:16-17
16 'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 26th, 2014 Image

Sts. Joachim and Anne
July 26: By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of ... 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