Hate attacks at worship places in Pakistan: 356 killed in 350 days of 2010


LAHORE: A total of 356 innocent Pakistanis have so far been killed and
612 more injured in 12 bloody incidents of terrorism in the first 350
days of 2010, as extremist sectarian and jehadi elements continue to
target different places of worship across Pakistan, including mosques,
madrassas, imambargahs, Sufi shrines and Ahmedi places of worship.

The odious ploy of targeting jam-packed mosques, madrassas,
imambargahs, Sufi shrines and Ahmedi places of worship at prayer time
is increasingly being used b fanatics to kill innocent civilians.
According to the figures compiled by the Pakistai ministry of
interior, 30 people were killed on average per month in 12 gory
attacks between January 1 and December 15, 2010, most of which were
carried out by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), led by Baitullah
Mehsud. On average, one person has been killed every day and seven
persons killed every week in attacks on places of worship in the first
350 days of 2010.

According to the available data, over 1500 Pakistanis have so far been
killed, and more than 2000 injured in 65 such incidents since the 9/11
terrorist attacks in the United States and the subsequent invasion of
Afghanistan. While the Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa (KP) province has recorded
the maximum number of such attacks – (21), it is followed by the
Punjab province (17), the Sindh province (11), the Federally
Administered Tribal Areas FATA (11), the Balochistan province (4) and
the Pakistan-administered state of Azad Kashmir (1).

Most of these attacks were sectarian in nature, and carried out by
Taliban-linked Sunni-Deobandi groups such as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan
(SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Jamaatul
Furqaan, Harkatul Jehadul Islami (HUJI), and Lashkar-e-Islami, though
their motivation varies. Most of the victims were Shias, Barelvis and
Ahmedis, giving clear indications that the founder of the country
Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan has become an intolerant nation where
religious and sectarian minorities continue to live in fear and remain

The first attack of 2010 targeting a mosque was carried out on
February 18, killing 38 people and wounding 121 others, as a suicide
bomber exploded himself at the main entrance of a mosque in Akakhel
area of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. On May 28, at least 114
people were killed and 117 others injured, as two separate groups of
attackers belonging to the TTP attacked two mosques [during Friday
prayers]of the minority Ahmadi community in the Model Town and Garhi
Shahu areas of Lahore, the capital of the Punjab province. A total of
84 people were killed in the Garhi Shahu mosque and another 30 in the
Model Town mosque.
In the fourth such incident on July 1, two back-to-back suicide
bombings killed 51 people and injured 121 inside the crowded shrine of
Sufi saint Hazrat Data Gunj Bukhsh in Lahore. Two terrorists wearing
vests packed with explosives blew themselves up at two different
places on the Darbar premises, frequented by devotees.

The first attacker blew himself up in basement, while the second
entered the courtyard before detonating his explosives after an
interval of two minutes. A week before the attacks, the Taliban had
reportedly sent a warning letter to the Data Darbar administration
threatening to attack the shrine, claiming its status was equivalent
to that of the Somnath Temple in Gujarat, India. In the fifth such
incident on July 14, three people were killed and five injured after a
powerful explosion shattered Masjid-e-Ishkhel mosque in Landi Kotal
tehsil of Khyber Agency in FATA. In the sixth attack hardly four days
later – on July 18 – five people were killed and 22 others wounded as
a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Shia Imambargah in the
Sargodha district of Punjab.

In the seventh assault on August 23, 36 people were killed and 43
others injured, including a former member of the National Assembly, as
a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque in Wana town of South
Waziristan in FATA. In the eighth such attack almost a month later –
on September 26 – three people were killed and 11 injured when
attackers targeted a mosque in a suspected sectarian attack in the
Bahawalpur district of Punjab. In the ninth attack on October 7, at
least 17 persons were killed and 72 others sustained injuries when two
suicide bombers blew themselves up at the shrine of Abdullah Shah
Ghazi in Karachi, the provincial capital of the Sindh province. The
tenth assault took place on October 25, when a bomb exploded at the
eastern gate of Baba Farid Shrine in the Pakpattan district of Punjab,
killing eight persons and wounding 12 others.

Continuing their bloody assault on religious places across Pakistan,
terrorists killed 81 people and injured 100 others, in two separate
attacks on worship places on November 5, 2010. In the first incident,
a 16-year-old suicide bomber attacked a Friday congregation at the
Wali Mohammad Mosque in Darra Adamkhel area of Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa
province, killing 76 people and wounding 82 others. In the 12th and
the last incident so far of the year 2010 the same day – November 5 –
five persons were killed and 17 injured in a grenade attack on a Sunni
mosque in Sulemankhel area of Badbher near Peshawar, the provincial
capital of Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa.


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