News / Asia

    Pakistan Mourns Hundreds Killed in Multiple Bomb Blasts

    Shi'ite Muslim men shout slogans during a protest rally organised by the religious group Majlis-e- Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) in Karachi, January 11, 2013, to condemn the bomb blasts in Quetta a day earlier, and the killings of Shiites.
    Shi'ite Muslim men shout slogans during a protest rally organised by the religious group Majlis-e- Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) in Karachi, January 11, 2013, to condemn the bomb blasts in Quetta a day earlier, and the killings of Shiites.
    Sharon Behn
    Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan on Friday declared three days or mourning after multiple bombings there killed almost 100 people and injured dozens more.

    Two sectarian bomb attacks and another bombing apparently targeting security personnel in the southern city of Quetta, along with a fourth explosion in Pakistan's northwest, drove Thursday's final death toll to well over 100.

    The headlines in the national papers described the multiple bombings as a "bloodbath" and a day of "carnage."

    Pakistan's information minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira, said the entire country was saddened by the events.

    The mass casualty twin bombing in Quetta, claimed by the banned militant Sunni organization Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, killed mostly Shi'ite Muslims. A third blast that killed 12 people, including members of the security forces, was claimed by Baluch militant nationalists.

    The blast in northwest Pakistan killed more than 20 members of a Muslim missionary group known as Tableeghi. No one claimed responsibility for that bombing.

    Human Rights Watch says religious minorities in Pakistan are facing unprecedented insecurity and persecution. More than 400 Shi'ites were killed in sectarian violence in the country last year.

    Mustafa Qadri of Amnesty International says sectarian attacks have gone on for years, but are now getting worse despite the presence of multiple security forces.

    "You've got this weird situation in Pakistan where these groups are committing these awful attacks with impunity and often in a very coordinated and very organized fashion and yet the state seems unable or unwilling to bring these perpetrators to justice," Qadri said.

    Among those killed Thursday in Quetta was human rights activist Irfan Ali, who died in the second of the two sectarian bombings while trying to help those who had been injured moments earlier in the first blast. Two local journalists covering the killings also died in the follow-up blast.

    A candle light vigil was planned in Islamabad Friday evening in Ali's memory.

    Amnesty's Qadri says the continued violence in Pakistan is eroding rule of law in the country, and that solving the root causes of the violence will be a major challenge for any new government.

    Pakistan is to hold national elections in spring, in what could be the first peaceful transfer of civilian power since the country was formed in 1947.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: a
    January 11, 2013 5:47 PM
    "in what could be the first peaceful transfer of civilian power since the country was formed in 1947."

    Probably wise to hedge that a little, coming as it does at the end of such a discouraging report. What a nightmarish mess of a country. I hope they can get their act together after all these years.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.