Daily brief: Bomb rips through hotel in cantonment
Unholy act At least 12 people, including civilians as well as Pakistani army and air force personnel, were killed when a remote-controlled bomb on a bicycle was detonated Thursday in front of a hotel in the Risalpur cantonment in Pakistan’s Khyber-Puktunkhwa province (Dawn, ET, DT, Reuters, Tel, BBC, The News, AP, AFP). The blast came ...
At least 12 people, including civilians as well as Pakistani army and air force personnel, were killed when a remote-controlled bomb on a bicycle was detonated Thursday in front of a hotel in the Risalpur cantonment in Pakistan’s Khyber-Puktunkhwa province (Dawn, ET, DT, Reuters, Tel, BBC, The News, AP, AFP). The blast came in the evening, as people were gathered to break the Ramadan fast.
Unidentified assailants kidnapped Shahbaz Taseer, the son of assassinated former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, in an upscale neighborhood of Lahore Friday (ET, NYT, Reuters, BBC, WSJ). Taseer’s family said that Shahbaz, who manages several companies founded by his father, had received threats from "extremist groups." And the Times of London reports that a premature announcement from the police chief in Lahore that American aid expert Warren Weinstein had been rescued may have alerted his kidnappers and prompted them to move the 70-year-old American to a new hiding place (Times).
More than 165 people have been arrested in an ongoing security crackdown in Karachi, as the paramilitary Rangers have been given special powers to carry out warrantless searches and more aggressively pursue suspected violent actors (Dawn, ET, Dawn, Dawn). Pakistan’s Supreme Court began its hearings into the unrest in the city Friday, as prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani pushed back against charges that the country’s law enforcement agencies were not doing enough to curb the violence (Dawn, DT, Dawn, DT). And Pakistani security officials said Friday that an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone had crashed due to mechanical error near the Pakistani border town of Chaman, in Baluchistan province (AFP, CNN, ET, AP).
Finally today: Flash flooding in the Kohistan district of Khyber-Puktunkhwa province has killed at least 63 people (Dawn, ET, Reuters). The Lahore High Court has denied bail requests for nine people accused of involvement in the lynching last year in Sialkot of two teenaged brothers (ET). And the Tribune looks at damage purportedly done to Pakistan’s roads by tankers carrying fuel and other supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan (ET).
The Telegraph reports that according to an investigation conducted by the Afghanistan Analysts Network, U.S. Special Forces may have killed BBC and Pajhwok journalist Ahmed Omed Khpulwak during an attempt to clear Taliban attackers from a government building in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province (Tel). The investigation reportedly found that Khpulwak was killed by at least 11 gunshot wounds that may have come from an American M-60 machine gun.
U.S. officials reportedly rejected a Pakistani proposal to suspend military operations during the holy month of Ramadan, a move that unidentified officials told the Times of London has caused problems in talks with the Taliban, as well as between Pakistan and the United States (Times). Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the United States will meet for tripartite talks in New York next month.
Pajhwok reports that one woman was killed and 10 people injured in a bombing in the western city of Herat, while in a separate incident a NATO airstrike in the province of Logar may have killed six members of a family, in addition to four militants (Pajhwok, Pajhwok). Meanwhile, Joshua Partlow details the efforts American commanders are making to trim costs as they train Afghan forces to take over security in the country (Post). And a U.S. Defense Department employee in charge of fire and rescue services for the department in Kabul has been arrested in Atlanta on charges that he accepted a $95,000 bribe from an Afghanistan-based company (Reuters).
The organization Human Rights Watch has publicly called for India to investigate reports of mass graves in the disputed region of Kashmir, where more than 2,100 bodies may have been buried over the last 20 years (BBC). And the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has blamed members of the militant group Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen for the April killing of a "moderate" separatist cleric in Indian-administered Kashmir, Maulvi Showkat Ahmed Shah (BBC, AP).
Bugs check in…
As part of an effort to combat the spread of dengue fever, authorities in Pakistan’s Punjab province plan to fumigate 150 public parks in order to kill the disease-carrying mosquitoes that breed near standing water (Dawn). Residents have also been warned not to keep their air-conditioning within the temperature ranges "most conducive" to mosquito breeding.
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