RealNews

Murder and Machination in Pakistan's Backyard

The massacre of 53 members of the Hazara tribe in an imambargah, a Shi’ite place of worship, at Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province in Pakistan, on July 4, while they were praying, by three unidentified gunmen, comes close on the heels of the massacre of 11 Hazaras undergoing police training last month in the same city. This is an attempt by Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives, who have taken shelter in Pakistan’s tribal belt, to drive out the Hazaras, who are Shi’ites, from this area lest they be used by US intelligence agencies to collect intelligence about the presence of Osama bin Laden and his associates in the tribal belt of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP)and Balochistan. All three gunmen are reported to have perished during their attack. Two of them allegedly blew themselves up after killing the Shi’ite Hazaras, while the third allegedly succumbed to injuries sustained by him in an exchange of fire with some members of the security forces guarding the place. The incident has led to violent disturbances in Quetta, forcing the local authorities to impose a curfew, which had not yet been lifted at the time of writing these comments. The provincial administration has ordered an inquiry into the massacre by a retired major-general. Full Story

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