KARACHI / PESHAWAR:
The grisly images of the January 30 bombing at a Shikarpur Imambargah were still fresh when terrorists struck at another mosque on Friday – this time in an upscale residential neighbourhood of Peshawar. At least 20 worshippers were killed and 59 injured in a gun and suicide attack at Imamia Masjid in Phase 5 of Hyatabad.
The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed credit for the deadly attack which was reminiscent of the December 16, 2014 methodical killing of students and staff at the Army Public School in Peshawar.
Three terrorists, fitted with suicide vests and armed with hand grenades and AK-47 assault rifles, entered the mosque and started shooting indiscriminately at the worshippers, a senior police official said. They also lobbed hand grenades before triggering the explosives strapped to their bodies, he added.
“The bombers entered the mosque from an adjacent under-construction building,” SSP Operations. “One of them was shot and fatally wounded before he could blow himself up.”
KARACHI / PESHAWAR:
Washington, Feb 11: Police have arrested a gunman in the killing of three Muslim students — including a husband and wife — in the university town of Chapel Hill in North Carolina, US news reports said Wednesday.
The shooter, identified as Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was being held in Durham County Jail on three counts of first-degree murder, the Chapel Hill News and Observer newspaper and other news outlets said.
A Facebook page believed to belong to Hicks showed dozens of anti-religious posts, including one calling himself an “anti-theist” saying he has a “conscientious objection to religion” and other memes denouncing Christianity, Mormonism and Islam.
One post read: “I’m not an atheist because I’m ignorant of the reality of religious scripture. I’m an atheist because religious scripture is ignorant of reality.”
“Given the enormous harm that your religion has done in this world, I’d say that I have not only a right, but a duty, to insult it,” he posted under the religious beliefs tab.
According to The Independent, the gunman’s last three social media posts, “were a cute dog video about the Pavlov effect, a viral advert for Air New Zealand involving mountain bikes, and a picture from United Atheists of America asking ‘why radical Christians and radical Muslims are so opposed to each others’ influence when they agree about so many ideological issues’.”
The victims were identified as Chapel Hill residents DeahShaddyBarakat, 23, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh.
Hicks turned himself in after the shooting Tuesday in Chapel Hill, just outside the campus of the University of North Carolina.
Reports said Barakat was a second-year student in dentistry there while his wife was planning to begin her dental studies in the fall.
Razan Abu-Salha was a student at North Carolina State University, according to the UNC university newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel.
ISLAMABAD – The government will support the formation of a three-judge commission to investigate the election rigging allegations and will have no objection if the proposed body sought assistance from the ISI and MI representatives to reach the bottom of the matter, a senior federal minister who is also a relative of the prime minister said on Tuesday.
Ishaq Dar said in a TV interview that the law ministry had written a letter to the Supreme Court registrar for the constitution of the commission. Now, he said, it was for the apex court, not the govt, to set up an investigation team, even if they comprised representatives of the ISI and MI.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan has been demanding the setting up of the judicial commission for quite some time and the failure of the government to get it constituted is one of the important reasons of confrontation between the two parties.
Replying to a question, the minister said of the five points agreed upon with the PTI, the government was already working on three and a half points. However, he did not identify them.
Refuting the PTI chief’s allegation that the Intelligence Bureau had distributed Rs 2,700 million to journalists to use them in support of the government, the minister claimed that all secret funds previously available to 32 institutions had been withdrawn. As for a couple of other institutions which still had these funds at their disposal, he said he was willing to share the information about such funds provided Imran Khan gave an undertaking that he would not make the information public.
He took exception to money laundering charge levelled against him by the PTI chairman. He said he was ready to sit with Imran Khan and prove that the allegation was baseless.
He said the former cricket hero was crossing all limits, which would not be tolerated any more.
Advising the PTI chairman to control his tongue, Ishaq Dar said in case he did not, “I’ll bring many things against him before public. I know too much about him”.
Now there will be an open war against him, said the finance minister. According to Dar, Imran Khan is behaving like a street man, not a political leader.
He alleged that the PTI chairman was the father of an illegitimate child from Sita White.
Mr Khan, he said, had been waiting for donations for hours outside the offices of the very institution he accused of involvement in money laundering.
As for his statement against the Sharifs during the Musharraf era, Dar said it was made under duress, which was not admissible under law.
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations’ top human rights official called on the Muslim world to denounce the “monstrous” crimes of the extremist group that seeks to establish an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, calling its actions both a violation of international law and Islamic tenets.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a member of the Jordanian royal family and the first Muslim to be named high commissioner for human rights, on Tuesday urged the Security Council to back efforts to overturn the Islamic State’s “ideology of violence.”
His speech was equally a message to the Muslim world.
“It is also disturbing how few to nonexistent have been the public demonstrations of anger in the Arab and Muslims worlds over the crimes being perpetrated in Iraq — notwithstanding the clear condemnation by many Arab and Islamic governments,” Mr. Al Hussein said.
Continue reading the main story
graphic Areas Under ISIS ControlJUNE 12, 2014 Citing the opinion of Muslim clerics, he said the group had violated Shariah in many instances, through conversions, the reintroduction of slavery and the killing of civilians. He said Islam also prohibited the killing of diplomats and emissaries, which could be extended to journalists and aid workers.
His comments come as an American-led coalition expands military action against Islamic State strongholds in Iraq and Syria, but has so far been unable to stop its killing rampage. On Sunday, the Islamic State announced the beheading of an American, Peter Kassig.
On Wednesday, the Security Council is scheduled to discuss how to increase international cooperation against the Islamic State. It has already passed a measure calling on countries around the world to stop the flow of money and fighters to banned terrorist groups. A United Nations panel of experts recommended that the council crack down on the ability of the Islamic State to collect oil revenues by requiring countries to seize oil coming from Islamic State territory.
Separately, the United Nations envoy to Iraq, Nickolay E. Mladenov, said the efforts of the new Iraqi government and the American-led airstrikes were yielding some results. The bombings had destroyed some of the insurgents’ infrastructure and kept them from gaining new territory.
Mr. Mladenov said there were reports that their funds were dwindling and they were being forced to cut rations and salaries to their fighters.
Most important, he said, he was no more worried about the prospect of Iraq’s disintegration, as he had been just some months ago. “We are not looking at a collapse of Iraqi state. We’ve turned the tide,” he said.
Iraq, however, has paid a heavy price already. Since the beginning of the year, he said, 10,000 civilians have been killed and 20,000 injured.
Mr. Al Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, said his office was also investigating the actions of the Iraqi authorities and pro-government Shia militias.
He went on to say that his office had concluded that the Islamic State had most likely violated three of five offenses that are listed under crime of genocide. He urged Iraq to consider acceding to the treaty that created the International Criminal Court and at least accept the court’s jurisdiction over possible international crimes committed in “the current situation.”
Asked about the prospects of Iraq joining the International Criminal Court, Mr. Mladenov said he, too, had encouraged the government to consider it. “This has not been overruled by the Iraqis,” he said, “but it needs to be discussed at greater length.”