Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Female suicide bomber kills 12
A female suicide bomber killed 12 people in Kabul on Tuesday in the deadliest single attack claimed to avenge a US film that has sparked a week of deadly protests across the Muslim world. The attack brings to more than 30 the number of people now killed in a violent backlash over a YouTube trailer for the film, "Innocence of Muslims", believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians. Security officials said nine foreigners were among those killed on a major highway leading to Kabul airport and close to a wedding hall when the bomber blew her station wagon up alongside a minivan carrying foreign workers.
An AFP photographer saw at least six bodies lying among the wreckage of a gutted minivan, and another vehicle destroyed by flames still burning in the middle of the highway, with debris flung all around. Hezb-i-Islami, the second largest insurgent group after the Taliban who have been fighting US-led troops and the government for 10 years, claimed the attack.
"The bombing was carried out by a woman named Fatima. The bombing was in retaliation for the insult to our Prophet," spokesman Zubair Sidiqi told AFP in a telephone from an undisclosed location. It is extremely rare for the faction to claim a suicide attack in Afghanistan. It is also rare for women to carry out suicide attacks. Taliban fighters last week stormed a British-run airfield, killing two US Marines and destroying six US fighter jets also to avenge the film. A week of furious protests outside US embassies and other American symbols in at least 20 countries have killed 19 other people, including the American ambassador to Libya and three other US diplomats in the North African country. In Lebanon, the head of Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah, which is blacklisted in the United States as a terrorist organisation, made a rare public appearance to warn of "very dangerous" repercussions if the film is released in its entirety.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of southern Beirut to denounce the film at the request of Nasrallah, who has called for a week of protests over the film, describing it as the "worst attack ever on Islam". "The US must understand that releasing the entire film will have dangerous, very dangerous, repercussions around the world," he told the rally. The filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Copt and fraudster who was sentenced to 21 months in prison in the US in June 2010, has not been seen since Saturday when he was questioned by his US parole officer.
The risks now facing those involved in the production of the film, which depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a thuggish womaniser, were underlined when a Salafist cleric in Egypt called Monday for the deaths of all those involved in its making. Before dawn on Monday, officers from the Los Angeles County sheriff's department escorted four members of Nakoula's family to join him in hiding. "I issue a fatwa and call on the Muslim youth in America and Europe to do this duty, which is to kill the director, the producer and the actors and everyone who helped and promoted the film," said the Egyptian cleric, Ahmad Fouad Ashoush.
In Pakistan, two protesters died after demonstrating against the film in the northwest, close to the Afghan border, and outside the US consulate in Karachi. The US embassy in the capital Islamabad closed on Monday because of the risk of demonstrations and diplomats have been banned from all but essential travel. Pakistan has also blocked access to YouTube, following the video-sharing website's failure to take down the anti-Islam film.
Similar measures have been taken in Afghanistan. Google, which owns YouTube, has also barred access to the film in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Libya and Malaysia. There have been violent demonstrations this week in Kabul and Jakarta, spreading from deadly demonstrations on Friday that saw police battle to defend US missions from mobs in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen. The United States has deployed counter-terror Marine units to Libya to protect its embassy in Tripoli and stationed two destroyers off the North African coast.
On September 11, its consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi came under sustained attack, killing four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens. A Marine unit was also dispatched to protect the US embassy in Yemen, where police shot dead four protesters and wounded 34 others on Thursday as a mob breached its perimeter. There were more protests in Yemen on Monday. The United States has evacuated all non-essential staff and family members from Sudan and Tunisia and warned US citizens against travel to the two countries. - iafrica News -
Comments by Sonny
- Disadvantaged South Africans are displaced in far off countries because they are unable to find employment in their own country. They leave their friends and family behind while they do 'high risk' deployments in order to earn Dollars. Now their are 8 Bodies waiting to be identified and then returned to South Africa for burial.
Politics is a very dangerous game and soon the winners could be displaced and dethroned. SOON SOUTH AFRICA WILL BE FREED BY THE POOR WHO ARE STRUGGLING IN DARK CREVICES CALLED MINES..... TOMBS OF HELL!! Today we mourn the loss of 8 of our OWN! MAY GOD GUIDE THEM SAFELY HOME! R.I.P. SALUTE!
South Africa says 8 citizens killed in Kabul blast
Associated Press –
JOHANNESBURG (AP) —
The International Affairs Ministry says eight South African citizens were killed in a suicide bomb blast in Afghanistan.
Spokesman Nelson Kgwete told The Associated Press that the victims are believed to have been employed by a South African aviation company based at Rand Airport in Johannesburg.
A suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a mini-bus carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport in Kabul early Tuesday, killing at least nine people in an attack that a militant group said was revenge for an anti-Islam film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad.
Afghanistan (AP) —
A suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a mini-bus carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport in the Afghan capital early Tuesday, killing at least 12 people including eight South Africans. A militant group said the attack aimed to avenge an anti-Islam film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad.
The powerful early morning blast was the first in Kabul since a video clip of the film was posted on the Internet last week, sparking angry protests across the Muslim world including in Afghanistan. It was also the second — and deadliest — attack that Afghan militants have said they carried out as revenge strikes in response to the film.
Haroon Zarghoon, a spokesman for the Islamist militant group Hizb-i-Islami, claimed responsibility for the dawn attack in telephone call to The Associated Press. He said it was carried out by a 22-year-old woman named Fatima. Suicide bombings carried out by women are extremely rare in Afghanistan — and few if any women drive cars.
"The anti-Islam film hurt our religious sentiments and we cannot tolerate it," Zarghoon said. "There had been several young men who wanted to take revenge but Fatima also volunteered and we wanted to give a chance to a girl for the attack to tell the world we cannot ignore any anti-Islam attack."
Zarghoon warned of more attacks against foreigners working for NATO and said Hizb-i-Islami had been scouting targets since a video clip of the film was posted on the Internet last week. The bombing was a worrisome escalation of violence in the capital, where most attacks are usually blamed on the Haqqani network — a Pakistan-based militant group affiliated with the Taliban and al-Qaida.
"Foreign troops are fighting against Afghans and foreign civilians are tasked to spy for them. They all are our enemy and will be our target," Zarghoon told AP from an unknown location.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, which he said killed eight South Africans, a Kyrgyzstani and three Afghans. Some of the dead were working for a South African Aviation company called ACS/BalmOral, which said in a statement that they were notifying the families of those killed.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said 11 Afghan civilians were wounded, and that tests were under way to determine whether the suicide bomber was a woman.
The anti-Islam film has triggered days of protests in Afghanistan. On Monday, hundreds of Afghans burned cars and threw rocks at a U.S. military base in the capital in a demonstration against the video. One police vehicle was burned by the mob before they finally dispersed.
Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said Tuesday's explosion took place near an avenue northwest of the city center near Kabul International Airport, and the force of the blast hurled the mini-bus at least 50 meters (yards).
An eyewitness at the scene said he was waiting at a bus stop along the road when he saw a small white sedan ram into the mini-bus.
"The explosion was so powerful and loud that I could not hear anything for 10 minutes," said Abdullah Shah, a teacher. "It was early and there wasn't much traffic or there would have been many more casualties.
Hizb-i-Islami, a radical Islamist militia with thousands of fighters and followers across northern and eastern Afghanistan, is headed by 65-year-old former warlord Gubuddin Hekmatyar — a former Afghan prime minister and one-time U.S. ally who is now listed as a terrorist by Washington.
The group has recently been seeking to participate in a so-far fruitless peace and reconciliation effort led by the Afghan president. Its more moderate parts are thought to have close ties to the Karzai administration and offered a peace plan that called for a broad-based government.
Hekmatyar and was one of the primary recipients of military assistance from the United States and Pakistan throughout the 1980s and early 1990s when he was helping fight the Soviets.
A moderate branch of the group operates as a political party in Afghanistan and has representatives in the Afghan government, including Cabinet ministers.
The political arm of Hizb-i-Islami has denounced Hekmatyar and his violence but it is not clear whether they have completely severed ties. Karzai has worked to court the group's political wing in a move to encourage them into peace talks with the government.
The Taliban have also threatened to increase their attacks against foreign targets as revenge for the controversial film. Taliban fighters last week attacked a large British base in southern Afghanistan, killing two U.S. Marines and destroying six fighter jets. NATO forces killed 14 insurgents and captured another who participated in the attack.
Zarghoon, the spokesman for Hizb-i-Islami, said recent events such as the mistaken bombing by NATO that killed eight women and girls who had gone out before dawn to gather firewood in remote eastern Laghman province, a traditional Hizb-i-Islami stronghold, has soured the organization's desire for reconciliation talks.
"Americans have not taken any serious steps for peace," he said. "They killed civilians in Laghman two days ago who had gone to cut wood. When the Americans show they are serious about talks and a solution, we will talk peace then."
The U.S.-led coalition acknowledged that civilians had been killed and expressed its regret over the airstrike. It insisted known insurgents had been the target.
Associated Press writers Kathy Gannon in Islamabad and Rahim Faiez and Heidi Vogt in Kabul contributed to this report.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Blast-kills-8-South-Africans-4-others-in-Kabul-3872847.php#ixzz26qh65o9H