US condemns 'senseless and inhumane attacks in Pakistan

By AFP
Published: January 12, 2013
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Pakistani Shia Muslim mourners sit beside the coffins of blast victims at a mosque following overnight twin suicide bombings in Quetta on January 11, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani Shia Muslim mourners sit beside the coffins of blast victims at a mosque following overnight twin suicide bombings in Quetta on January 11, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: The United States has condemned the “senseless and inhumane” extremist attacks in Pakistan after a day of bomb blasts that killed 126 people and sparked angry protests by the Shia.

Two suicide bombers killed 92 people and wounded 121 when they targeted a crowded snooker club in Quetta Thursday, in an area dominated by Shias from the Hazara ethnic minority.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Friday said Washington offered “the families of those killed in these brutal attacks in Quetta, in Swat, in Karachi… our deepest condolences”.

“We obviously stand with the people of Pakistan in strongly condemning these senseless and inhumane acts,” she added.

“We remain concerned about extremist violence of any kind in Pakistan and remain committed to working with the government of Pakistan to combat terror.”

Extremist Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for what was the worst ever sectarian attack on Shias, who account for around 20 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million population.

Hundreds of Shias staged a sit-in at the devastated snooker hall on Friday, refusing to bury loved ones until the army takes responsibility for security in Quetta from paramilitary and police officers.

The government in Balochistan, which is also fighting a separatist insurgency, announced three days of mourning, but the protesters squatted on the road alongside around 30 bodies draped in shrouds and placed in coffins.

It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since suicide bombers killed 98 people outside a police training centre in the northwest in 2011 – an assault claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Meanwhile, unidentified men fired rockets on NATO containers carrying goods for international troops operating in Afghanistan, killing one person and destroying at least five vehicles in the Hazar Ganji area on the outskirts of Quetta on Friday.

“A group of at least 12 unidentified men attacked the terminal and fired rockets, which triggered a massive fire and gutted five out of 10 containers parked there,” senior local police official Hamid Shakeel told AFP.

He said that the attackers escaped after also shooting dead an employee at a nearby petrol pump.

A local police official Noor Bukhsh Mengal also confirmed the incident.

Earlier Thursday, a bomb detonated under a security force vehicle in a crowded part of Quetta, killing 11 people and wounding dozens.

A bomb at a religious gathering in the northwestern Swat valley killed 22 people and wounded more than 80, the deadliest incident in the district since the army in 2009 fought off a two-year Taliban insurgency.

At the snooker club, the first bomber struck inside the building then, 10 minutes later, an attacker in a car blew himself up as police, media workers and rescue teams rushed to the site, said police officer Mir Zubair Mehmood.

Police official Hamid Shakeel put the death toll at 92.

LeJ claimed responsibility in telephone calls to local journalists. The group has links to al Qaeda and the Taliban, and was involved in the kidnap and beheading of reporter Daniel Pearl in January 2002.

The attacks, coupled with violence in the northwest, revived warnings from analysts that militancy could threaten national elections, expected some time in May.

Polls would mark the first time an elected civilian government in Pakistan, for decades ruled by the military, completes a term in office and is replaced by another democratically elected government.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) demanded that the government take immediate steps to clamp down on “murdering mayhem” ahead of the elections.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • abid
    Jan 12, 2013 - 12:57PM

    i am amazed and it’s weird that Pak Army cheif who got his service tenure extended for some unknown reasons has still not uttered a single word on defence of Hazara community.

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  • zoro
    Jan 12, 2013 - 1:09PM

    And when Hazaras attack Pakistan army … they are called Nepali Hindus … Pathetic is’t it ..

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  • Yoghurt lover
    Jan 12, 2013 - 1:29PM

    No comments by Pakistanis on those who are killed by US drones?

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Jan 12, 2013 - 1:42PM

    @Yoghurt lover:
    “No comments by Pakistanis on those who are killed by US drones?”

    Don’t worry soon there will be comments justifying why drone attacks are worse than attacks on Shias!!!

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  • DB
    Jan 12, 2013 - 1:42PM

    Reaction of participating in Afghan war on the side of the US. Hazara-Taliban conflict is long standing and now Pakistan is embroiled in it due to wrong policies.

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  • Indian
    Jan 12, 2013 - 2:09PM

    This whole episode is so heart rending.
    But on Popular TV shows in Pak last night it was usual buffoonery and not a single word of condolence or even a passing remark. It seems news of Shia/Hazara killing on such a scale is now a routine for Pakistanis. Had it been even a minor Indo-Pak issue these jokers would go in proxysms of heperbolic vitriol with chest thumping but systematic genocide of Shia, Hazaras and other minorities does not even warrant nominal condemnation. It is 1971 again, Pakistan is fast heading towards further escalation of violence and more divisions.
    My condolences to the families of the departed.

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  • sheikh
    Jan 12, 2013 - 2:17PM

    so much of killing in pakistan……..i think pakis have now crossed afghanis as far as violence is concerned…..soon pakis will become more corrup than afghans too :)

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  • Careless Whispers
    Jan 12, 2013 - 2:17PM

    i’m not a Shia and i totally condemn this cowardly act, we need to protect our each other, say no to Shia/Sunni/Wahabi/non Muslims killing, fight for justice, protect ur neighbors… WAKE UP PEOPLE, U HAVE BEEN SLEEPING FOR A VERY LONG TIME

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  • Raza Khan
    Jan 12, 2013 - 2:23PM

    General Kiani Sahib,

    Please take action.

    How long you can remain silent to these horrific actions?

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  • Xnain
    Jan 12, 2013 - 2:26PM

    @zoro:
    And the point of your post being?……..
    @abid
    Cuz if he did, then your beloved Bloch brotheren would start to make huge awe and cry…..He can not afford to expose army to further defaming by talking about things which have been passively supported by your elected officials.
    @Yoghurt lover
    There are two views on that: Drone attacks kill Specifc people of TTP 2) drone attacks kill innocent people. I support first and condone second. And just one thing Why do Indians have such interest in Pakistani affairs? Dont you guys have anything useful to do than coming and gracing us with your whatever toughts?

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  • Ashraf
    Jan 12, 2013 - 3:46PM

    @zoro:When? where and how? What is your evidence that Hazaras attacked pakarmy? Please don’t lie.

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Jan 12, 2013 - 3:58PM

    @Yoghurt lover:
    stop making a yogurt of our brain please. there is no connection between drone attacks and this genocide. both are separate issues and treat them as such.

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  • Nadir Naeem
    Jan 12, 2013 - 5:15PM

    The starting of a revolution planned 5 Years ago and I still stand by it. Incidents like these bombings are inhuman and cowardly attempts to derail the process by threatening the nation. Whoever has done so is surely not Muslim and human. To justice and peace ..amen.. we all stand united and wait.Recommend

  • Ristan Fancti
    Jan 12, 2013 - 6:21PM

    Why is the Army Chief sleeping? Why is the Joint Chiefs Sleeping? Why are the Core Commanders Sleeping? Why are Brigadiers Sleeping? Why are the Colonels Sleeping? Why are the Majors sleeping? Why are the Cadets sleeping?

    Why is the Pakistan Army Sleeping? Which of my brother who has been entrusted to protect my country from the evil of these extremist cowards – do I need to beg to protect us, to do their jobs?

    Why is the tax deduction from my salary slip going to these people if they are going to remain silent after such atrocities?

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  • Sidrah
    Jan 12, 2013 - 6:58PM

    Everyone wants to stay away from Balochistan related issues because Baloch will get offended. but what is the fault of these poor people who are getting slaughtered?

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  • Shia
    Jan 12, 2013 - 8:38PM

    I request to all international community and US specially please help us.

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  • Jibran
    Jan 12, 2013 - 8:38PM

    @Yoghurt lover:
    @Sidrah:
    Shut up, please shut up! If the massacre of 100 young people is not going to wake your conscience, nothing will. Pakistan is not short of lunatics… the ones who carry out such horrendous attacks and the ones who the justify them.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jan 12, 2013 - 8:45PM

    This news says Shias account for 20% of Pakistan’s population. At one time Hindus also accounted for such a percentage of population and all but a few have been eliminated.

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  • Enlightened
    Jan 12, 2013 - 9:27PM

    Govt and military of Pakistan, please wake up as this is no time to keep quiet and allow the massacre of helpless Shias/Hazaras to continue as if nothing has happened. They are your own people who are not committing a crime by asking for protection which should be provided without any further delay otherwise Pakistan shall be further isolated from the International arena and the country would also suffer Almighty Allah’s wrath as well.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Jan 13, 2013 - 12:57AM

    After the US has killed so many innocent Pakistanis it is slightly reassuring to hear Victoria Nuland expressing concern over the welfare of Pakistanis. Does this mean that America will cease their drone attacks?

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  • Burjor Rustomji
    Jan 14, 2013 - 11:36AM

    There are ways to stop this madness, or to decrease it. Pakistan society as a whole has to realize and wake up. It should wean itself away from religiosity, sectarianism, keep religion to oneself and between one’s maker. It should accept another person as a person, not as a Muslim or Hindu, or Christian, or whatever, people should accept people for what they are not what religion they may or may not belong to. Mosques all over the country should preach tolerance, towards fellow human beings. Pakistan society has to move away from fake values, systems, fanaticism, extremism, religiosity. The more Pakistan society as a whole realizes, that more of the above will only lead to more sufferings., the better of people of Pakistan will be, for themselves, for their children, for the future. This will have to be a very consciensious decision, from, politicians, religious leaders, social leaders, human rights groups. This will be difficult, but this is the only long term panacea, keep away from people who preach extremism, etc.

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