January 25, 2011

Katherine Tiedemann: Daily brief: Lahore suicide attack kills at least 7

Katherine Tiedemann: Daily brief: Lahore suicide attack kills at least 7 -
Initial reports about a blast just heard in Lahore say that at least 7 people were killed, including four policemen, and at least 47 wounded in an explosion near a Shia mourning procession at the Bhati Gate (The News, Geo, Dawn, AP, BBC). Police said the blast, coming as thousands of Shia worshippers marked the end of the holy month of Muharram, was a suicide attack by a teenage boy.

Karin Brulliard describes the University of Karachi, where last semester ended "with a flurry of clashes involving armed student organizations, a professors' strike against violence, canceled exams and a lunchtime bombing," as a microcosm of ethnic and political conflict in the southern port city, where three times as many people died in political violence in 2010 as in 2009 (Post). Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik recently ruled out an army operation in Karachi, though did say the Pakistani army would be sent "wherever the need arises" (The News, Dawn).

Leaders from the Indian political party the BJP, a Hindu nationalist group currently in the opposition, were reportedly detained at the airport in Jammu en route to making an attempt to raise the Indian flag in the Lal Chowk area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir in commemoration of Republic Day tomorrow, marking India's adoption of a democratic constitution (AP, IE, Hindu). More than a dozen Kashmiri separatist groups said they would oppose any such attempts, and Indian and Kashmiri authorities are concerned the move would cause violence in the valley.

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