Tag Archives: Pakistan

Independent MPA among 28 killed after suicide attack targets funeral in northern Pakistan

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — A suicide attacker targeted a funeral procession in northern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 28 people, local officials said.

The incident occurred in the Shergarh area of Mardan, located in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, during the funeral procession for the owner of a local petrol station, Haji Abdullah, who was killed by a group of unidentified gunmen on Monday.

Local authorities said the bomber arrived at the funeral procession and detonated his explosives near Independent MPA Imran Khan Mohmand, Geo News reported. Mohmand, who was the apparent target of the attack, was among the killed.

In addition to the 28 deaths, authorities said 57 others were also injured in the blast. They were transported to the Mardan Medical Complex. The Provincial Information Ministry added that Mohmand had previously received threats, and two security guards were deployed for his protection.

Gunmen attack NATO supply trucks in Pakistan, killing 6

PARACHINAR, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Six people were killed in northwestern Pakistan on Monday when a group of unidentified gunmen opened fire at container trucks carrying supplies to NATO-led troops in Afghanistan, officials said. Several other people were injured in the attack.

The attack happened when as many as 20 gunmen attacked at least four container trucks in the Shagai area of Khyber Agency, not far from the town of Landi Kotal and about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the border with Afghanistan. Supply trucks heading for Afghanistan are frequently targeted by militants in the region.

Police said the gunmen used both small arms and mortar shells to attack the trucks, setting two of them ablaze. Geo TV reported that the attack resulted in a 30-minute firefight between the gunmen and security forces, but the assailants were able to flee the scene and disappeared into the mountainous region.

Monday’s attack resulted in the deaths of at least six people, including several truck drivers and their helpers, while three other people were injured. The frequent attacks on trucks carrying supplies for troops have led the NATO alliance to rely on other supply routes, including through countries north of Afghanistan.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack.

Bomb attack strikes paramilitary truck in Pakistan, at leas 12 killed

QUETTA, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — At least twelve people were confirmed killed after a bomb attack targeted western Pakistani paramilitary forces on Thursday, local authorities said.

The incident occurred in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan not far from the Afghan border, when the bomb, which was built with around 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of explosives, struck paramilitary truck. Reports said the bomb had been placed in a rickshaw.

A senior police official told Geo TV that the death toll rose to 12 after initial reports said two had died. Most of the victims were security personnel. Several others were also injured.

Similar attacks are not uncommon in the region as local government officials have been aided by paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in the region.

Pakistan: Gov’t buildling in Lahore catches fire, at least 8 killed

LAHORE, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — At least eight people were killed after a government building caught fire in eastern Pakistan, local media reported on Thursday.

The Lahore Development Authority plaza, which is a 13-story building located in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, caught fire on its seventh and eighth floors at around 12 p.m. local time, the Express Tribune reported.

As emergency teams struggled to arrive and operate quickly due to wrongly parked vehicles outside the building, a number of people desperately jumped out of the building in hope of surviving.

One person who jumped died on the spot while two others doing the same later succumbed to their wounds. In total, at least eight people were confirmed dead. Several others were also trapped, but the number of injured was not immediately known. Nonetheless, those injured were being transferred to the Ganga Ram Hospital.

Two helicopters were also deployed and were evacuating victims. The exact cause of the fire was not immediately known, although it spread quickly in a matter of minutes.

Afghan consulate employees among 8 killed in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — At least eight people killed, including two Afghan consulate workers, when a suicide bomber attacked a convoy in northwestern Pakistan, local authorities said Monday. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

The suicide bomber was riding an explosive-laden bicycle when a convoy drove by in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to city police chief liaqat Ali Khan. The convoy was accompanied by a number of police vehicles.

Eight people were confirmed dead. Among the dead were Qazi Mohammad Hilal Waqad and Mohammad Idrees, son and nephew of Qazi Amin Waqad, who is a member of the Afghan High Peace Council that is working on peace negotiations with the Taliban. Both Afghan nationals were also employees at their country’s consulate in Peshawar.

Afghan Consul General Syed Mohammad Ibrahim Khel said that the Afghan nationals, who were killed as they were on their way to work, were not the apparent target of the attack. In addition to the eight deaths, at least 42 others were reported injured, and authorities said the death toll was likely to increase.

Bomb blast kills 5 near top party’s election office in Pakistan

KARACHI, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Five people were killed Thursday when a bomb exploded outside the election offices of one of Pakistan’s main political parties in the southern port city of Karachi, local authorities said on Friday. It comes just weeks before general elections.

The powerful explosion took place on early Thursday evening outside one of the election offices of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) liberal political party in the Nusrat Bhutto Colony of North Nazimabad Town, which is located in the north of the financial seaport city and provincial capital.

Police said the blast was caused by approximately 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of explosives that were placed on a motorcycle that was parked outside a shop near the MQM election office. The explosion killed five young MQM workers who were sitting nearby and injured 12 others.

A brief statement on MQM’s website said one of the victims was the son of a former MQM councillor while the other four were cousins, although their names and exact ages were not immediately released. Footage from the scene outside the building showed shattered windows, damaged buildings, and several vehicles that were damaged by the blast.

A spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), which is better known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. Thursday’s attack came just two days after a bomb exploded at a roadside MQM camp office in Karachi, killing five people and injuring 15 others.

The attacks also come just over two weeks before May 11 general elections, which the Pakistani Taliban has described as ‘un-Islamic.’ The group, besides threatening the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, has also threatened other political parties such as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP).

At least 34 killed in Pakistan after 7.8-magnitude earthquake

KARACHI, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — At least 34 people killed after powerful earthquake shook the Iran-Pakistan border, officials said Tuesday.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck at around 10:44 local time approximately 201 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of the Iranian city of Zahedan and 250 kilometers northwest of Turbat in Pakistan, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The quake had a depth of 15.2 kilometers.

The earthquake was felt in a number of areas, including important cities in Pakistan such as Karachi, Hyderabad, Quetta, Abbotabad, Islamabad, and Lahore.

At least 34 people were reported dead in Pakistan, although higher death tolls were also placed by some media outlets. In addition, 80 others were also wounded during the quake. In Iran, meanwhile, no deaths had been reported, although over two dozen were also injured.

Emergency teams were deployed for relief operations, as Pakistan’s Inter-Service Public Relation (ISPR) said helicopters‚ medical staff‚ medicines‚ tents and other goods have been dispatched to the affected areas in Balochistan.

In October 2005, over 73,000 people were killed when a 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.

Suicide bomber attacks party meeting in northern Pakistan, at least 17 dead

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — At least seventeen people were killed after a suicide bomber attacked a political party meeting in northern Pakistan, local authorities said Tuesday.

A public meeting was being held by the Awami National Party (ANP) in the Yakatoot area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, when the suicide attack took place.

According to Peshawar’s Capital City Police Officer Liaquat Ali who spoke with Geo TV, the suicide bomber was standing among the 200 to 300 ANP workers attending the meeting when he jumped in front of a party leader’s vehicle and detonated the explosives.

ANP leaders Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Haroon Bilour survived the attack, but at least 17 people were confirmed dead and around 60 others were injured. Emergency teams rushed the wounded to local hospitals, as authorities fear an increased death toll.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility of the attack. As the country prepares to hold polls in May, the attack marks the fourth politically-related attack in the last three days.

Militants attack power station in NW Pakistan, plunging city into darkness

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — A group of suspected militants attacked a major power grid station in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing seven people and plunging large parts of Peshawar into darkness, local authorities said. It comes weeks before general elections.

The attack occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, at around 2:30 a.m. local time, when dozens of militants attacked a power station in Sheikh Muhammdi village on the outskirts of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is the region’s largest power station.

The heavily-armed men initially fired a number of rockets at the power station before launching a full-scale attack, assaulting employees at the station and taking hostage a number of police guards. In addition, several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were planted and detonated at the complex.

The attack completely destroyed the station’s control room and caused a fire to break out. As a result, power supply was disrupted to parts of the region, including more than of the major city of Peshawar. Power was later restored but capacity difficulties are expected to last for at least several days.

According to a spokesman for the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO), which operates the power station, the militants killed four staff members and three policemen. However, Geo News said the death toll could still rise as four PESCO employees and one policeman are said to be missing.

U.S. drone attack kills at least 4 in Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — At least four people were killed in the latest United States drone attack in Pakistan’s tribal region, local authorities said Thursday.

The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles against a vehicle in the town of Datta Khel, located around 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, which is not far from the Afghan border.

According to a local security official, as reported by the News International, four drones were flying around the area at midnight and targeted the vehicle.

Earlier in the year, Ben Emmerson, the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, said the UN is opening an investigation into the deaths caused by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, as well as Palestinian regions. The probe will also investigate the deaths and injuries of civilians as a result of U.S. drone strikes.

U.S. drone strikes have become relatively common during President Barack Obama’s tenure in which the unmanned aircraft have targeted suspected militants, their hideouts, and training facilities. However, the number of civilians also killed during such attacks has remained uncertain.

The total number of deaths caused by drone strikes in 2012 stood well over 300, according to the Washington-based think tank New America Foundation, and as many as 3,239 individuals have been killed as a result of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan alone between 2004 and January 2013.

About a year ago, in January 2012, President Obama, for the first time during his presidency, publicly acknowledged that U.S. drones regularly strike suspected militants along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He confirmed that many of these strikes are carried out in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, targeting al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects in tough terrain.

Pakistan’s government has been public in its stance against the drone strikes, as local residents and officials have blamed them for killing innocent civilians and motivating young men to join the Taliban. Details about the alleged militants are usually not provided, and the U.S. government does not comment publicly on the strikes.

However, the U.S. has used them as an important tool in their fight against terrorism. In June 2012, al-Qaeda deputy leader Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed when an unmanned U.S. drone fired at least two missiles at a compound and a nearby pickup truck in the village of Hesokhel, located in the Mir Ali district just east of Miranshah. It was the most serious blow to al-Qaeda since U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden during a secret military operation in the Pakistani city of Abbotabad in May 2011.