3 December 2009

A suicide bombing at a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, kills 25 people, including three ministers of the Transitional Federal Government.

2009 Hotel Shamo bombing

2009 Hotel Shamo bombing
LocationSomalia.svg
Location of Somalia in Africa
LocationMogadishu, Somalia
Date3 December 2009
Attack type
Suicide bombing
Deaths25
Injured60

The 2009 Hotel Shamo bombing was a suicide bombing at the Hotel Shamo in Mogadishu, Somalia, on 3 December 2009. The bombing killed 25 people, including three ministers of the Transitional Federal Government,[1] and injured 60 more,[2] making it the deadliest attack in Somalia since the Beledweyne bombing on 18 June 2009 that claimed more than 30 lives.[3]

The bombing

The hall had been brightly decorated, and there was a feeling of excitement – such ceremonies rarely happen in Mogadishu.[4]

Mohammed Olad Hassan, BBC News

Location of Mogadishu in Somalia
Location of Mogadishu in Somalia
Mogadishu
Mogadishu in Somalia

The attack took place inside the meeting hall of the Hotel Shamo in Mogadishu during a commencement ceremony for medical students of Benadir University and was carried out by a suicide bomber dressed as a woman, "complete with a veil and a female's shoes", according to Minister of Information Dahir Mohamud Gelle.[5] According to witnesses, the bomber approached a speakers' panel, verbally greeted them with the phrase "peace", and detonated his explosives belt.[6] Former Minister of Health Osman Dufle, who was speaking when the blast happened, reported that he had noticed an individual wearing black clothing moving through the audience immediately before the explosion.[7]

The ceremony—the second since Benadir University was formed in 2002 and a rare event in war-torn Somalia—had attracted hundreds of people.[5] In attendance were the graduates and their family members, University officials,[8] and five ministers of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).[5] Security inside the meeting hall was light and all of the ministers' bodyguards were outside the hall.[5]

Casualties

Suddenly, the hall shook and I heard a PAW! sound from the front of the ceremony, where most government officials and dignitaries were sitting. I got down on the ground and looked back. Dozens of people were on the ground under a huge cloud of smoke. Others were stampeding to the exit for safety.[9]

Abdinasir Mohamed, The Wall Street Journal

The bombing killed 24 people[1] and injured 60 others.[2] Most of those killed were students,[2] but also among the dead were two doctors, three journalists,[10] and three government ministers—Minister of Education Ahmed Abdulahi Waayeel, Minister of Health Qamar Aden Ali, and Minister of Higher Education Ibrahim Hassan Addow were killed.[5][7] Minister of Sports Saleban Olad Roble was critically injured, and was hospitalised. He was later reported to have been flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment,[11] where he died on 13 February 2010.[12]

The three journalists killed in the bombing were: Mohamed Amiin Abdullah of Shabelle Media Network, a Somali television and radio network;[7][10] freelance photographer Yasir Mairo, who died of injuries in hospital;[10] and a cameraman alternately identified as freelancer Hassan Ahmed Hagi[7] and Al Arabiya cameraman Hassan Zubeyr[10] or Hasan al-Zubair.[8] Their deaths raised to nine the number of journalists killed in Somalia during 2009, including four for Radio Shabelle.[10] The explosion also injured six other journalists, including two—Omar Faruk, a photographer for Reuters, and Universal TV reporter Abdulkadir Omar Abdulle—who were taken to Medina Hospital in critical condition.[10]

The dean of Benadir University's medical college was among the wounded.[8]

Aftermath

President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed accused the Islamist group al-Shabaab of perpetrating the attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for orchestrating the bombing,[5] but Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the President of Somalia, blamed the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab.[7]

In a news conference held in the Hotel Shamo after the attack, President Ahmed called for international assistance to Somalia.[6] He also displayed, according to a local journalist, what he identified as the bomber's body and remains of an explosive belt and a hijab.[7] The Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende reported the bomber was a 23-year-old citizen of Denmark.[13]

According to Idd Mohamed, a senior Somali diplomat, the attack was carried out to foster "terror" and "panic" and undermine the legitimacy of the Transitional Federal Government.[6] Wafula Wamunyini, the acting head of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), expressed a similar opinion, claiming that the attack had the purpose of "intimidat[ing] and blackmail[ing]" the Somali government.[2] Stephanie McCrummen of The Washington Post described the attack as "the worst blow in months" to the United Nations-supported government of Somalia.[6]

Reactions

The attack drew condemnation from a number of organisations, including the African Union (AU), the European Union, the United Nations Security Council, and the National Union of Somali Journalists.[5][7]

AMISOM described the bombing as "inhumane and cowardly",[5] and characterised it as a "heinous [crime] against humanity".[7] AMISOM also promised to "spare no efforts" to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack,[7] and stated that the attack would not deter the AU from continuing to carry out its mission in Somalia.[2]

Baroness Catherine Ashton, the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy for the European Union (EU), echoed AMISOM's sentiment, calling the bombing a "cowardly attack against civilians including students, doctors and journalists".[5]

The UN Security Council president Michel Kafando labelled the attack an act of terrorism[7] and a "criminal act",[6] called for a "thorough investigation", and conveyed "sympathies and condolences" to the victims of the attack, their families, the TFG, and the Somali people.[7]

A joint statement by the UN, the EU, the Arab League and the United States affirmed that the international community would continue its support of the Transitional Federal Government;[5] however, a senior European diplomat indicated that any additional military support to the TFG was unlikely.[6]

President Ahmed characterised the attack as a "national disaster".[2]

The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement expressing condolences to the families of the three journalists killed in the bombing and noted that the attack "cemented" Somalia's "position as the deadliest country in Africa for journalists".[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "4th minister dies of wounds". The Straits Times. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Somalia al-Shabab Islamists deny causing deadly bomb". BBC News. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  3. ^ Guled, Abdi; Ibrahim Mohamed (4 December 2009). "Bomber kills 19 in Somalia". National Post. Retrieved 4 December 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Hassan, Mohammed Olad (3 December 2009). "Somalia bomb attack: 'Light turned to dark'". BBC News. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Somalia ministers killed by hotel suicide bomb". BBC News. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e f McCrummen, Stephanie (4 December 2009). "Bombing kills 19 in Somali capital". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Blast kills 19 at graduation ceremony in Somalia". CNN. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  8. ^ a b c "Govt ministers killed in Somalia blast". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  9. ^ Mohamed, Abdinasir (4 December 2009). "'I Looked to My Right and Saw a Colleague Dead and Bleeding'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Explosion kills three Somali journalists in Mogadishu". Committee to Protect Journalists. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  11. ^ Somalia: Patients flown to Saudi Arabia
  12. ^ http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE61C02G.htm
  13. ^ Somalia suicide bomber from Denmark Archived 12 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Copenhagen Post.

External links

Coordinates: 2°01′51″N 45°18′14″E / 2.0309°N 45.3039°E / 2.0309; 45.3039

21 November 2009

A mine explosion in Heilongjiang, China kills 108.

2009 Heilongjiang mine explosion

2009 Heilongjiang mine explosion
China Heilongjiang.svg
Heilongjiang province
DateNovember 21, 2009 (2009-11-21)
Time02:30 CST
LocationHegang, Heilongjiang, China
Casualties
108 dead and 29 injured

The 2009 Heilongjiang mine explosion (Chinese: 鹤岗新兴煤矿爆炸事故; pinyin: Hègǎng Xīnxīng méikuàng bàozhà shìgù) was a mining accident that occurred on November 21, 2009, near Hegang in Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, which killed 108 people.[1] A further 29 were hospitalised.[2][3] The explosion occurred in the Xinxing coal mine shortly before dawn, at 02:30 CST, when 528 people were believed to be in the pit. Of these, 420 are believed to have been rescued.

Location and explosion

The mine, located close to the China–Russia border, is owned by the state-run[4] Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group Co., Ltd., which has been open since 1917,[4] and produces 12 million tons of coal per year,[5] making it one of the largest and oldest coal mines in the country.[6] The explosion itself, a preliminary investigation concluded, was caused by trapped, pressurised gases underground,[7][8][9] caused by poor ventilation in the mine shaft.[10] The blast was powerful enough that it was felt six miles away. Many nearby buildings were damaged, including one next to the mine whose roof was blown off.[11] The director of Hegang General hospital, where the injured were being treated, told the Xinhua News Agency that "most of the injured are suffering from compound injuries, such as respiratory injuries, broken bones and gas poisoning".[6][9]

Response

A Chinese official said rescue efforts were being impeded by gas and debris from collapsed tunnels.[5] The death toll makes it the worst accident of its type within the past two years.[7] While hope for those trapped was fading, a Chinese official stated that the effort was still a rescue operation.[12] San Jingguang, a mining company spokesman stated that "if we haven't found them, to us that means they are still alive."[11]

Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang visited the site to inspect rescue efforts on the afternoon of November 21, while President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are both said to have "made instructions on the rescue work".[2] Both have also expressed condolences for those killed.[13] Meanwhile, Li Zhanshu, the governor of Heilongjiang called for increased safety standards in Chinese mines,[13] and the provincial work safety bureau vowed to step up its mining reform programme.[6]

Chinese state television initially reported that the death toll was 31.[14] It later reported the number of dead had more than doubled over the extremely cold night.[4][5]

As a result of the accident, the director, vice director and chief engineer of the mining company are reported to have been removed from their individual posts.[9][13][15] The Chinese state prosecutor is investigating the possibility that criminal negligence was responsible for the disaster.[9][16] Chinese state media reported on November 23, 2009, that an investigation had concluded poor management was to blame for the incident.[10] Relatives of the deceased also claimed on November 23 that officials did not notify them of the accident.[17]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Mine Explosion Killed 108" (in Chinese). Sina.com. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b Bradsher, Keith (22 November 2009). "At least 87 dies in Chinese mine explosion". New York: New York Times. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  3. ^ "At least 89 killed in coal mine blast". USA: Statesman.com. 22 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  4. ^ a b c MacArtney, Jane (22 November 2009). "Scores dead in China mine explosion". London: The Times. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Duncan, Maxim (22 November 2009). "China mine explosion death toll reaches 87". London: Reuters. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  6. ^ a b c "87 workers perish in China mine disaster". Philippines: Philippine Daily Inquirer. 22 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-23. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  7. ^ a b "China coal mine blast death toll reaches 87". London: BBC News. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  8. ^ "China mine death toll hits 92". Atlanta: CNN. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d "92 killed in China mine disaster". Sydney: Sydney Morning Herald. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Management blamed in China mine blas that kills 104". New York: CNN. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  11. ^ a b Cassidy, Katie (22 November 2009). "China mine gas explosion death toll rises". London: Sky News. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  12. ^ "Survivors recount mine disaster". New York: Associated Press. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  13. ^ a b c "Hopes fade for miners as fatal blast toll hits 92". Shanghai: Shanghai Daily News. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  14. ^ "Mine blast kills 42, scores still trapped in debris". Paris: France24. 21 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-24. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  15. ^ "China coal mine death toll hits 92". New York: Bloomberg. 22 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  16. ^ "Mine explosion death toll reaches 92 in China". Gulf Times. 22 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  17. ^ Kosich, Dorothy (23 November 2009). "Deadly blast in state owned Chinese coal mine in Heilongjiang kills 104 miners". Nevada: Mineweb. Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 23 November 2009.

Coordinates: 47°18′50″N 130°16′39″E / 47.31389°N 130.27750°E / 47.31389; 130.27750

28 October 2009

The 28 October 2009 Peshawar bombing kills 117 and wounds 213.

28 October 2009 Peshawar bombing

28 October 2009 Peshawar Market Bombing
LocationPeshawar, Pakistan
CoordinatesCoordinates: 34°00′31″N 71°34′32″E / 34.008723°N 71.575552°E / 34.008723; 71.575552
Date28 October 2009
1300 hrs (UTC+5)
TargetMeena Bazar
Attack type
Car bombing,[1] fire
Weapons150 kilograms (330 lb) of explosive
Deaths137[2]
Injured213[1]

The 28 October 2009 Peshawar bombing occurred in Peshawar, Pakistan, when a car bomb was detonated in a Mina Bazar (Market for women and children) of the city. The bomb killed 137 people and injured more than 200 others, making it the deadliest attack in Peshawar's history. Pakistani government officials believe the Taliban to be responsible, but both Taliban and Al-Qaeda sources have denied involvement in the attack.

Bombing

The blast was so huge that it jolted the entire
area and within seconds plumes of smoke and dust
started emitting out of a building near Al-Falah Mosque.

shopkeeper Karim Khan[3]

According to the North West Frontier Province's information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, most of the victims were women and children,[3] in the woman-exclusive Peepal Mindi shopping section of Peshawar.[1][4] The blast originated from a car bomb parked outside of the city's Meena Bazar. The bomb was said to contain 150 kilograms (330 lb) of explosives, according to bomb squad worker Shafqatullah Malik.[1][5] The blast caused widespread fires among stores selling flammable fabrics, which caused further damage and casualties;[6] the bomb was stated to be the deadliest since the 2007 Karachi bombing, and the worst in Peshawar's history.[7] The death toll was expected to rise, from an original estimate of 90,[6] as rescuers and civilians sifted through the rubble of a four-story building that was collapsed by the blast;[1] the explosion also collapsed a mosque and damaged four other four-story buildings.[7][8] Among the dead was a female teacher doing winter shopping for her young children.[8] Many of the wounded were seriously injured and would later succumb to their injuries.[5] According to Mohammad Usman, whose shoulder was wounded, "There was a deafening sound and I was like a blind man for a few minutes... I heard women and children crying and started to help others. There was the smell of human flesh in the air."[7] The location of the bombing, Meena Bazar, usually draws low-income female shoppers.[9]

Pakistani authorities believed that the Taliban were responsible for orchestrating the attack,[1][4][7] but the group has denied any involvement.[10] Information minister Hussain stated that the government believed the bombing to be a response to a recent anti-militant operation in South Waziristan.[8]

Investigations

On 24 April 2015 Italian DIGOS detectives arrested a terror cell that plotted to bomb the Vatican. According to Mario Carta, an officer in the anti-terrorism unit, there was evidence that the 2009 Peshawar attack was substantially planned and financed from Olbia, Sardinia, and that Italy-based militants had taken part in it.[11]

Response

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was visiting Pakistan, condemned the attacks, saying that the perpetrators were on the "losing side of history".[6] Clinton added, "We commit to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani people in your fight for peace and security, we will give you the help that you need in order to achieve your goal."[12] Meanwhile, nearby Lady Reading Hospital went into a state of emergency[4] as the injured were transferred there;[6] medical officials pleaded with the public to donate blood for the blast's victims.[12]

A state of emergency has been declared at
the hospital... We don’t even have time to count the bodies.
It's absolutely mayhem here. We have called for blood
donation to meet with the crisis...

Anonymous medical official[4]

Lady Reading Hospital

Medical staff complained that the authorities were not adequately prepared to deal the repercussions of an attack with so many casualties.[12] According to Muzamil Hussain, a responder, "There are a lot of wounded people. We tried to help them but there were no ambulances so we took the victims on rickshaws and other vehicles." Muzamil Hussain added that, "There were no police. The police and government didn't help us, the police even opened fire on us." Another man claimed that there was only a pretense of security, and that the government was actually unable to stop such attacks.[12] Government officials acknowledged Peshawar's lack of ability to prepare for terrorist attacks, and Azam Khan, the city's senior-most civil servant, stated that, "The police strength of Peshawar cannot secure everything," and explained how the militants had penetrated a "three-ring police cordon" around the city.[4]

Sahibzada Anees, Peshawar's deputy coordination officer, cited the city's lack of trained firefighters, and the inability to move excavating machinery into areas where people had been buried alive because of the city's narrow streets.[4] A local government official added that crowds were hindering rescue efforts, stating how, "People have thronged the scene... They have made it difficult for us to remove the rubble and retrieve bodies and those still alive."[4] All shops in the area were closed after the blast.[3] An inquiry was ordered by NWFP Chief Minister Amir Hyder Khan Hoti.[5]

As many as 60 people were considered unaccounted for as of 30 October.[13]

Reaction

  • Pakistan: President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack while Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani denounced the attacks and directed the government officials to provide the best possible treatment to the injured.[14] Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the violence would not break his government's will to fight back. The resolve and determination will not be shaken," Qureshi said. "People are carrying out such heinous crimes – they want to shake our resolve. I want to address them: We will not buckle. We will fight you. We will fight you because we want peace and stability in Pakistan."[15] NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said, "Terrorism cannot be described as jihad as our religion does not allow taking lives of innocent people".[3]
  • Afghanistan: Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, called Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to condemn the Peshawar blast. He also expressed grief over loss of innocent lives.[2]
  • United States: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was in Pakistan to discuss the growing number of militant attacks in the country, condemned the attacks, stating that the U.S. would "commit to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani people in your fight for peace and security, we will give you the help that you need in order to achieve your goal."[12]
  • : Al-Qaeda sent an e-mail to media outlets stating that they do not explode bombs in bazaars and mosques. They said that separate forces, "who want to defame jihad and refugees, are behind the Peshawar bomb blast."[10]
  • Afghanistan: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan also condemned the attacks and denied their involvement in the blast.[10]
  •  United Nations: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that he wanted to "express my outrage at the loss of so many innocent lives, no cause can justify such inhuman and indiscriminate violence."[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "95 killed, over 200 injured in Peshawar blast". India Today. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  2. ^ a b Hazrat Bacha, Ali (30 October 2009). "Death toll from Peshawar blast rises to 117". Dawn. Pakistan. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d Hazrat Bacha, Ali (29 October 2009). "Peshawar bomb targets women, children". Dawn. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Ismail Khan (28 October 2009). "Bomb Kills Scores in Pakistan as Clinton Arrives". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  5. ^ a b c "Peshawar death tally climbs to 106". Geo TV. 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d "Powerful car bomb kills at least 90 in Peshawar market". CNN. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d "Car bomb kills 93 in Pakistani city of Peshawar". Associated Press. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  8. ^ a b c Karen DeYoung (29 October 2009). "Scores Dead in Pakistan bombing". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  9. ^ "Car bomb in crowded Pakistan market kills 100". Associated Press. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  10. ^ a b c "Taliban, al-Qaeda disown blast". The News. 29 October 2009. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  11. ^ "Italy terror cell that plotted to bomb Vatican smashed, prosecutors say". The Guardian. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Carnage as car bomb hits Peshawar". BBC. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  13. ^ Farhan Sharif (30 October 2009). "Pakistan's Death Toll From Peshawar Bomb Rises to 117". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
  14. ^ "45 killed in Peshawar blast: hospital sources". The News. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  15. ^ Khan, Riaz (27 October 2009). "Car bomb kills 93 in Pakistani city of Peshawar". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  16. ^ "US, UN, UK denounce Peshawar terror attack". The Nation. 29 October 2009. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2009.

25 October 2009

The October 2009 Baghdad bombings kill 155 and wounds at least 721.

October 2009 Baghdad bombings

25 October 2009 Baghdad bombings
LocationBaghdad, Iraq
Date25 October 2009
10:30 am – (UTC+3)
TargetMultiple
Attack type
Car bombs
Deaths155[1]
Injured721+[1]
PerpetratorsIslamic State of Iraq[2]

The 25 October 2009 Baghdad bombings were attacks in Baghdad, Iraq which killed 155 people and injured at least 721 people.[1]

Attack

The attack was caused by two suicide[3] car bombs,[4] in a minivan and a 26-seat bus,[5] which targeted the Ministry of Justice and the Baghdad Provincial Council building[6] in a quick succession at 10:30 am local time.[7] The Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, which is approximately 50 metres (160 ft) from the Justice Ministry, also sustained severe damage.[8] Among the dead were 35 employees of the Ministry of Justice and at least 25 staff members of the Baghdad Provincial Council. Among the wounded were three American contractors.[9] A bus carrying children from a daycare next to the Justice Ministry was also hit, killing the driver and 2 dozen children on board as well as wounding six other children.[5]

The blasts badly damaged St George's church, the only Anglican church in Iraq. Canon Andrew White reported body parts had been blown into the church by the explosion and that a humanitarian medical clinic which operated on the site had been destroyed.[10]

It was the deadliest attack in Iraq since August 2007[4] and took place very close to where car bombers killed at least 120 people at the Foreign and Finance Ministries two months earlier.[11]

Perpetrators

Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Ahmad al-Khafaji told Adnkronos International (AKI) that the bombs were manufactured inside the Green Zone, in a location right next to the blasts. Deputy Minister al-Khafaji said, "It seems the individuals who carried out the attacks had rented a house or commercial premises in a sidestreet of the area they intended to target and gradually sneaked in the bomb-making materials."[12]

On 11 March 2010, Iraqi police arrested Munaf Abdul Rahim al-Rawi, the mastermind of the bombings. His capture also led to the death of Al-Qaeda leaders Abu Ayub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. Al-Rawi was called the "Governor of Baghdad" and masterminded many of the other Baghdad bombings since Aug. 2009, according to Major General Qassim Atta, a Baghdad military spokesman.[13][14]

Political effects

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had been trying to portray the country as safer than the period of heavy violence in 2006–07. Local politicians said the blasts were trying to destroy faith in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his ability to secure the country after the U.S. withdrawal.[3] He faced re-election in January 2010, and much of his popularity had rested on the safety of the country. The bombings prompted some Iraqis to reconsider their support for the Prime Minister.[11]

The Prime Minister responded, stating, "The cowardly acts of terrorism which occurred today, must not weaken the resolution of Iraqis to continue their journey and to fight the followers of the fallen regime, the Baathists and al-Qaeda".[3]

US President Barack Obama strongly condemned the attacks;[4] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement that the U.S. would work together with Iraqis "to combat all forms of violence and attempts at intimidation."[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Baghdad bomb fatalities pass 150". BBC News. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
  2. ^ Londoño, Ernesto (27 October 2009). "Extremist group claims responsibility for Baghdad bombs". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Shadid, Anthony (26 October 2009). "Bombings rock Iraq's political landscape". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "Twin Baghdad blasts kill scores". BBC News. 25 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  5. ^ a b Santana, Rebecca (26 October 2009). "Iraq steps up security after blasts kill 155". Baghdad: The Associated Press. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
  6. ^ Norland, Rod (26 October 2009). "Iraq Blast Toll Continues to Rise, Includes Children". New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2009.
  7. ^ Shalash, Saad (25 October 2009). "Bloodiest attack in Baghdad in months". Independent News & Media. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Deadly bombings worst Iraq attack in two years". CNN. 25 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  9. ^ Santana, Rebecca (25 October 2009). "Bombings Target Government in Baghdad, 147 Killed". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  10. ^ http://www.frrme.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=83&Itemid=103
  11. ^ a b Williams, Timothy (25 October 2009). "Iraq Bombings, Deadliest Since 2007, Raise Security Issue". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  12. ^ "Iraq: Deadly car bombs 'made inside' Green Zone". Adnkronos International. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  13. ^ "Iraq captures senior al-Qaida leader: spokesman". xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Al Qaeda commander: How I planned Iraq attacks". CNN. 20 May 2010.
  15. ^ "Obama: Iraq attacks an attempt to derail progress". . 25 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.[dead link]

External links

  • [1] Images of the attack

Coordinates: 33°18′57″N 44°23′32″E / 33.3157°N 44.3922°E / 33.3157; 44.3922

30 March 2009

Gunmen attack the Manawan Police Academy in Lahore, Pakistan.

At 7:31 am on 30 March 2009, the Manawan Police Academy in Lahore, Pakistan was attacked by an estimated 12 gunmen. The perpetrators were armed with automatic weapons and grenades or rockets and some were dressed as policemen. They took over the main building during a morning parade when 750 unarmed police recruits were present on the compound’s parade ground. Police forces arrived 90 minutes later and were able to take back the building by 3:30 pm. Five trainees, two instructors and a passer-by were killed. A suspect was captured alive in a field near the school. Three of the attackers blew themselves up to avoid arrest while three others were taken into custody as they tried to escape in police uniforms. The four were taken to undisclosed locations for interrogation by the security forces according to local media.

he Manawan Police Academy is a training school of the Pakistan Police located on the outskirts of Lahore. At around 7:30 am local time at least 12 gunmen, some dressed in police uniform, attacked the academy during the morning drill hour when around 750 unarmed police recruits were on parade. The gunmen apparently gained access to the site by scaling the perimeter wall before causing three or four explosions on the parade ground, using grenades or rockets, and opening fire with automatic weapons. Several civilians on the road adjacent to the compound were hit by fire from the gunmen apparently when the gunmen attacked a police guard detachment near to a gate.

The academy had only been in a peacetime defensive stance and probably contained just a small armoury of outdated weapons. The attackers proceeded across the parade ground and stormed the academy building, taking hostages from the police trainees and establishing three or four defensive positions including one on the rooftop.

Red star depicts the Manawan Police Training School.The vertical line on right is Border with India
Elite Forces of Punjab Police arrived on the site within 90 minutes of the attack and were cheered on by a crowd of spectators. The security forces took up position on rooftops around the compound, firing on the gunmen and sealing off any escape routes. The gunmen returned fire with automatic weaponry and grenades and also shot at a police helicopter. Several hours into the attack security forces used explosives to storm the building and retake it from the gunmen after ten to fifteen minutes of sustained firing, capturing the building by 3:30 pm. During the course of the attack and siege eight police personnel, two civilians and eight gunmen were killed and 95 people injured. At least four of the gunmen have been captured alive by the security forces.

A curfew was imposed in the area surrounding the academy. Several hundred civilians poured in from close-by localities to watch the operation despite the ‘curfew-like’ conditions in the area. Elite forces declared victory signs on completion of the successful operation. Punjab Police resorted to aerial firing and chanted slogans of Allahu Akbar after the siege successfully ended and hostages were freed and at least three of the would-be suicide bombers were caught alive.

The leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud took responsibility for the attack. “Yes, we have carried out this attack. I will give details later,” Mehsud, an al Qaeda-linked leader based in the Waziristan tribal region told Reuters by telephone. He also said that his next target would be Washington D.C.

Mehsud was also accused by the government of Pakistan for carrying out the attack that killed popular Pakistani political leader, Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.

Fedayeen al-Islam, a previously unknown group, claimed responsibility for the assault and added that it would carry out more attacks unless Pakistani troops withdraw from the tribal areas near the Afghan border and the end of US drone attacks in the country.

A person named Hijratullah, believed to be part of the group of attackers, was apprehended by local citizens when he was seen hiding in the nearby fields at first and then moving slowly towards the rescue helicopters with two grenades in his hand. He was confirmed by authorities as a resident of Paktika province of Afghanistan. Authorities also confirmed later to have arrested 3 more attackers after the Rangers forced them to lay down their arms. Another gunman Hazrat Gull of Miranshah in Waziristan was also arrested. 10 suspects belonging to a religious organisation were arrested from Sukkur. Police also arrested Qari Ishtiaq, who was said to be the commander of the Punjabi Taliban. He was arrested from Bahawalpur on the information provided by the Hijratullah who was jailed for 10 years due to his role. 7 other militants were arrested from different parts of Punjab on his information him.

7 February 2009

Bushfires in Victoria leave 173 dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia.

The road into the Victorian town of Kinglake is treacherous at the best of times. It is absurdly narrow and winding, with a maximum speed of 20km/h and grim signs saying “Sheer Drop: No Safety Barriers” as you circumnavigate your way to the township on the mountain peak at the northern end of the Yarra Valley.

If the road into Kinglake is scary on a sunny afternoon, God knows what it would have been like on that most awful day, February 7, 2009, when 173 people died in Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, the deadliest natural disaster in Australian history.

The majority of them died in and around Kinglake and Kilmore East, many meeting their fate on that shocking road as they tried to escape when it was far too late, their cars colliding with trees, other fleeing vehicles, or rolling into the burning ravine in the afternoon darkness.

I attended two weddings over summer, both of which said something about Australia and its ongoing relationship with bushfire.

The first was in the Yarra Valley, which took us to Kinglake. The second was on top of Adelaide’s tallest hill, Mt Lofty, on January 3, the day that the Sampson Flat bushfire was burning out of control to the city’s northeast.

That fire was truly terrifying. It was burning out of control in every direction. It was stinking hot and the northerly wind was blowing a gale by 1pm, right across town.

As I was putting my tie on there was an almighty crash at the back of our suburban home; a 5m-long branch had fallen off the neighbour’s gum tree and smashed his back fence. There were lightning forecasts for late afternoon, prompting warnings that more fires could start across the ranges.

The fire ended up burning out 125,000ha, destroying 27 homes, and came so close to the city that residents were evacuated in Golden Grove, a place so urban and so typical of Australian suburbia that no-one who lives there had ever dreamt of drawing up a fire plan.

Every cat and dozens of dogs at a boarding kennel died when the premises burnt to the ground.

But not one person lost their life.

Why the difference between what happened in Victoria in 2009 and in South Australia last month, on a day which authorities were validly likening to SA’s Ash Wednesday disaster of 1983, when 75 people died?

A major investigation is underway into how the Sampson Flat fire was fought and, crucially, how the affected communities responded to it. The investigation involves experts from across Australia, men and women who have studied bushfires from WA to Canberra and Tassie to NSW. The anecdotal and media reports so far suggest one clear difference between Victoria in 2009 and SA in 2015.

Almost everybody got the hell out of there.

The so-called “stay and defend” policy was the subject of much debate after Victoria in 2009. This week I read a report by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authority Council, which was based on interviews with 1914 people who survived the Victorian fires. The survey found that 50 per cent of people intended to stay and defend their property that day, and 19 per cent intended to leave early or before they came under threat.

The remaining 31 per cent were undecided or had no strategy, with 17 per cent saying they intended to stay and defend but leave if they felt threatened, 9 per cent saying they intended to wait until the fire arrived and then come up with the plan, and 5 per cent not citing a plan.

Talk about a margin for error. The only group that had what I would regard as a viable plan was the 19 per cent who got out in advance.

One leading Australian fire expert, Dr Richard Thornton, said in an interview during the week that 2009 demonstrated so tragically that many people were simply cutting it way too fine. He also questioned whether people who intended to stay and defend were psychologically and physically prepared for the onslaught.

The wedding at Mt Lofty was almost cancelled that day. It wasn’t until late morning that we got confirmation that it was still going ahead. It started at 4pm. It was a creepy drive up the hill, so much wind and electricity in the air, to the very mountain that was left black by the big blaze of 1983.

After nightfall, I was standing on the lawn at the back of the function centre, looking over the escarpment to the northeast of the ranges. A thick red line of fire stretched across the horizon. It was 40km away but it was so vast and so intense that, every so often, the red would glow deeper as the wind blew, reaching higher into the air.

“Our house is over there,” a bloke called Luke told me over a beer. He and his wife live in Lobethal, one of several towns where residents had been advised to leave the day before as the fire intensified.

They had taken their kids to the grandparents and, figuring that there was nothing they could do, decided to come to their mate’s wedding anyway and have a good time. At that stage they thought it would be days before they got to enter the fire zone to see if their house was still standing.

“Still,” Luke said, “it’s only a f—ing house.”

It was a laconic Australian way of putting it, and one which makes a hell of a lot more sense than stay and defend.

28 October 2009

A bombing in Peshawar kills 117 and wounds 213.

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Militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan punctuated Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s arrival here with deadly attacks on Wednesday, underscoring their ability to cause chaos even in the face of offensives on both sides of the border.

In Pakistan, a devastating car bomb tore through a congested market in the northwest city of Peshawar, killing as many as 101 people, many of them women and children. Pakistani authorities said the attack was the country’s most serious in two years, and the deadliest ever in Peshawar, which has become a front line for Taliban efforts to destabilize the government through violence.

In the Afghan capital, Kabul, Taliban militants stormed a guesthouse, killing five United Nations employees and three other people in a furious two-hour siege. The attack was meant to scare Afghans away from voting in a runoff election on Nov. 7 between President Hamid Karzai and his challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, a Taliban spokesman said.

The violence cast a shadow over the visit of Mrs. Clinton, who was meeting with government ministers in Islamabad, 90 miles southwest of Peshawar, when news of the Peshawar explosion came over television screens. Mrs. Clinton immediately condemned the bombing, which in killing women and children in Peshawar seemed aimed at the very constituencies she has championed in her travels to other developing countries.

“These attacks on innocent people are cowardly; they are not courageous, they are cowardly,” Mrs. Clinton said at a news conference with the Pakistani foreign minister, her voice raw with anger.

“They know they are on the losing side of history,” she said of the militants. “But they are determined to take as many lives with them as their movement is finally exposed for the nihilistic, empty effort it is.”

24 January 2009

26 people die when Cyclone Klaus makes landfall near Bordeaux, France.

Klaus was a European windstorm or cyclone which made landfall over large parts of central and southern France, Spain and parts of Italy in January 2009. The storm was the most damaging since Lothar and Martin in December 1999.The storm caused widespread damage across France and Spain, especially in northern Spain.

The storm caused twenty-six fatalities, as well as extensive disruptions to public transport and power supplies, with approximately 1.7 million homes in southwest France and tens of thousands of homes in Spain experiencing power cuts. Severe damage to property and major forest damage was caused.Peak gusts were over 200 km/h; sustained winds of over 170 km/h were observed, which are hurricane-force winds.Thousands were evacuated from nearby housing estates in La Nucía, north of Benidorm in Alicante, as the Spanish Army helped to fight a forest fire, which was started by a felled electricity pylon. There were also forest fires in the region of Catalonia, while Spain put emergency services on high alert. Waves over 20 metres high were registered off the northern coast of Spain and dolphins were stranded on beaches in the region as a result of high winds. The storm left millions without electricity and fixed and mobile telephony.