Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Sunni-Shiite War--Bomb Blasts in Iraq and Pakistan

France 24 continues to report on the Sunni-Shiite war. First, a suicide bomber kills a senior Iraqi intelligence officer:
A suicide bomber killed a senior Iraqi army intelligence officer and two bodyguards in a northern town on Saturday after storming his well-guarded home.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack. But suicide bombings are the hallmark of al Qaeda’s local wing, Islamic State of Iraq, which aims to take back ground lost in its long battle with U.S. and Iraqi forces.
Sunni Islamist insurgents tied to al Qaeda have stepped up bombings on Iraqi Shi’ite targets and security forces in a campaign of sectarian violence a year after the last U.S. troops left the OPEC country.
One bomber was shot outside the home of Brigadier-General Awni Ali, the director of the Defence Ministry’s intelligence school, in the northern town of Tal Afar. But a second attacker managed to detonate his explosives.
“Guards killed one suicide bomber, but when the brigadier general and his bodyguards went out another bomber ran among them and blew himself up,” a local official said.
Tal Afar is near the Syrian border, about 420 km (260 miles) north of Baghdad and just west of the volatile northern city of Mosul. The town has a large Shi’ite Muslim population in a volatile province that is home to many Sunni Arabs as well as Christians, ethnic Kurds and Turkmen.
Increasing sectarian violence has accompanied growing political unrest in Iraq as thousands of Sunni Muslims in western provinces rally against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, accusing him of marginalising their minority sect.
More than 10 suicide attackers have struck security forces, Shi’ite targets and a lawmaker since January.
Second, a story of another mass bombing in Pakistan:
A remote-controlled bomb targeting Shiite Muslims killed 47 people including women and children and wounded more than 200 in Pakistan's insurgency-hit southwest on Saturday, police and officials said.

The bomb exploded in Hazara town, an area dominated by Shiites on the outskirts of Quetta, capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province.

"At least 47 people have been killed and at least 200 more wounded. The death toll may rise. It was a remote-controlled bomb," Wazir Khan Nasir, senior police officer in Quetta, told AFP.

"It was a sectarian attack, the Shiite community was the target," he added.

... At least 92 people were killed and 121 wounded on January 10, when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a crowded snooker club in an area of Quetta city dominated by the Shiite community.

It was Pakistan's worst sectarian bombing, claimed by Sunni Muslim militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

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