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Pakistan: Imam Killed, Mosque Bombed

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    Religious scholar Shamzai shot dead ... By Arman Sabir KARACHI, May 30: Renowned religious scholar Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai was assassinated on Sunday, and his
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2004
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      Religious scholar Shamzai shot dead
      By Arman Sabir
      KARACHI, May 30: Renowned religious scholar Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai
      was assassinated on Sunday, and his son, nephew and chauffeur were
      wounded when their car was sprayed with bullets in front of their
      home, a few yards from the Jamia Binnoria in Jamshed Town.

      The killing triggered violence across the city with the Guru Mandir
      area adjoining the Jamia Binnoria bearing the brunt of attacks by
      groups of angry people who ransacked the Jamshed Quarters police
      station andset ablaze about 20 vehicles, two bank branches and a
      petrol station. The office of the Quaid-i-Azam Academy also came
      under attack.

      Six people, including a policeman and a Rangers, were shot and
      wounded. Besides, dozens of people suffered minor injuries. Mufti
      Shamzai was sitting in the front seat of his double-cabin car along
      with his driver Tayyab. His son Saleemuddin and nephew Rafiuddin were
      sitting in the rear when their car came under heavy gunfire.

      DIG Karachi (Operations) Tariq Jamil said: "No-one has claimed
      responsibility for the killing so far." He said that police had
      provided Mufti Shamzai with a squad and four guards but he kept only
      one guard with him.

      The official guard, Khair Mohammad, who was also in the vehicle, told
      police that four assailants in a white Suzuki Cultus intercepted the
      car and opened fire. Khair Mohammad returned fire and, according to
      him, an assailant was wounded. Khair Mohammad remained unhurt, the
      DIG said.

      However, eyewitnesses said that as the driver of Mufti Shamzai
      accelerated, two men on a motorcycle intercepted the car at around
      8:45am. Two otherassailants on another motorbike, armed with
      automatic weapons, sprayed the car with bullets. A white car was also
      there, apparently to provide back-up to the assailants. After the
      shooting, the assailants escaped.

      The witnesses said that an accomplice of the assailants also suffered
      a bullet wound and blood was oozing from his wound. But he was
      whisked away by his partners in a white car. The witnesses said that
      the assailants had left one motorbike behind.

      DIG Jamil did not deny the presence of the motorcycle and said: "The
      violence broke out soon afterwards and it was possible that the
      motorcycle would have been left there."

      Soon after the incident, pupils of the Jamia gathered at the place of
      the incident and moved the four injured to the Liaquat National
      Hospital where Mufti Shamzai was pronounced dead.

      A large number of people who had gathered at the private tertiary
      care unit were enraged when they heard that. Heavy contingents of
      police were called in to maintain law and order. The body was taken
      to the Jamia Binnoria in Al Mustafa ambulance where his followers
      started assembling.

      The funeral prayer, held in the evening at the Jamia Binnoria mosque,
      was led by Maulana Abdul Razzak Iskandar and attended by people from
      different walks of life, including the leader of the opposition in
      the National Assembly, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Chief Minister of the
      NWFP, Akram Durrani, City Nazim Naimatullah Khan and Prof Ghafoor

      The funeral procession moved to a graveyard in the Scout Colony off
      Abul Hasan Isphani Road, where Mufti Shamzai was laid to rest beside
      the grave of Maulana Mohammad Yousuf Ludhianvi.


      Mosque Explosion in Karachi Leaves 15 Dead:
      Posted @ 22:30 PST
      KARACHI, May 31: A bomb explosion ripped through a Shiite Muslim
      mosque in Karachi today, killing at least 15 people and wounding
      more than 35, police said.

      Witnesses said a blast rocked the Imam Bargah Ali Raza mosque
      during evening prayers - the latest in a series of terrorist
      attacks to hit Karachi.

      A senior official said the attack was possible retaliation for
      the assassination of a senior Sunni Muslim cleric in the city on

      Tariq Jamil, chief of operations of Karachi police, said it was
      a ``high-intensity bomb'' and at least 15 people were killed and
      more than 35 injured.

      Most of the casualties were taken to three hospitals in private
      vehicles. Other bodies were retrieved from the debris and ferried
      off in ambulances..........(Guardian)

      18 die in blast at Karachi Imambargah:
      Two killed in shooting at blood bank
      Staff Reporter
      KARACHI, May 31: At least 18 worshippers were killed and over 35
      injured on Monday in what police said was an apparent suicide
      bombing at an Imambargah off M.A. Jinnah Road near Numaish

      A couple of hours later, some unidentified people fired
      indiscriminately on blood donors, standing at the Hussaini Blood
      Bank in Soldier Bazaar killing two people. Witnesses, however,
      claimed that Rangers had opened fire at the group of people who
      had gathered there to donate blood. There was no official word
      from Rangers on the incident.....


      Musharraf to take steps to control violence: Rashid
      By Amir Wasim
      ISLAMABAD, May 31: President Pervez Musharraf is about to take an
      "important step for the restoration of law and order and
      protection of life and property of the people" in Karachi,
      Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on

      He told Dawn that the president had taken a serious notice of the
      recent terrorism incidents in Karachi. But he declined to
      elaborate what step the president had in mind, saying he could not
      say more than what he had been authorized.....


      President, PM vow to curb extremism
      By Ahmed Hassan
      ISLAMABAD, May 31: President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Prime
      Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali reiterated on Monday their resolve
      to rid the country of sectarianism and extremism and vowed to
      continue the fight against terrorism......


      Muttahida chief sees plot to topple govt
      LONDON, May 31: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain
      has strongly condemned the bomb blast at the Ali Raza mosque and
      Imambargah in Karachi.

      The Muttahida chief said that for the past one month, the
      persistent act of bomb blasts, terrorism and killing of innocent
      civilians and law-enforcement personnel was a well-designed and
      well-engineered conspiracy not only to disturb the peace of
      Karachi, but also to portray the city as a battlefield with a view
      to creating a reason to either deploy Army in the city, impose
      governor rule, suspend the Sindh government or impose emergency in
      the province.....(PPI)


      Police clash with protesters after the bombing of a Shiite mosque in


      Sectarian violence flares in Pakistan
      by Matthew Clark | csmonitor.com

      Tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Pakistan's southern port
      city of Karachi have boiled over once again into violent attacks.
      Police battled rioting mourners Tuesday as thousands gathered for the
      funerals of those killed in a Monday night bombing at a crowded
      Shiite mosque, reports CNN.

      The bomb exploded during evening services at the Ali Raza mosque
      Monday killing 16 and injuring scores in what appears to be revenge
      for the killing of prominent Sunni cleric Nizamuddin Shamzai. "We
      have many reasons to believe that today's bombing was a response to
      yesterday's murder of Mufti Shamzai," Manzur Mughal, senior
      superintendent of police for investigations in Karachi said Monday

      Shamzai was gunned down in Karachi on Sunday morning, setting off
      angry demonstrations by thousands of his supporters. Shamzai was a
      hardline Al Qaeda and Taliban supporter who had met with Osama bin
      Laden, reports The Washington Post.

      The attack on the mosque – the fourth terrorist incident in Karachi
      in a month – triggered "a wave of violent protest," reports The New
      York Times. "The sectarian violence in Karachi has followed a
      distinct pattern, with Sunni leaders singled out individually for
      attack while Shiite mosques have been hit by bombings," according to
      the Times.

      The Daily Times of Pakistan reports that Deputy Inspector General
      Fayyaz Leghari said the similarity of Monday's mosque attack and a
      May 7 suicide bombing at another Shiite mosque gave rise to the
      suspicion that "it might be a suicide attack."

      The BBC reports that Karachi has a "long history of religious and
      ethnic violence, but the month of May was the worst in recent years."
      Another BBC report traces the roots of the growing violence in

      The city's population is highly diverse - but it is hardly a melting
      pot. Individuals survive by being a part of a group or mafia that can
      protect their interests.
      Sunni-Shiite clashes have killed as many as 4,000 people in Pakistan
      the past 15 years, reports the BBC.
      According to various reports, however, factors other than Shiite-
      Sunni animosity are involved in the recent violence. As The
      Washington Post reports, "Much of the violence in Karachi has been
      blamed on Islamic militants who oppose support by the president, Gen.
      Pervez Musharraf, for the US antiterrorism campaign in Afghanistan."
      CNN quotes Yousaf Hussain, a Shiite leader, as saying: "Everybody who
      is a Muslim should understand that some elements want (to) create
      unrest. They are the enemy of Pakistan and Islam, and I ask you to
      understand this conspiracy and show patience."

      "While the latest bombing smacked of domestic sectarianism, ingrained
      hatred for the US surfaced among Shiites, many of whom chanted: 'Down
      with America'," reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

      President Musharraf said he would take tough action to restore order
      in Karachi, reports The Dawn, a Pakistani daily. In an opinion piece
      published in the PakTribune, Col. Riaz Jafri (Ret.) seems a bit
      skeptical of Musharraf's ability to do so.

      What can [Musharraf] do, except change a few functionaries here and
      there or at the most impose Governor's Rule in Sindh? Will that solve
      the problem? No. He cannot shut down the Madrassas, breeding ground
      of the hate mongering terrorists or the hidden foreign hand behind
      such explosions. The killing ground is immensely vast and the
      initiative with the terrorist to strike when and where he likes. He
      can always choose his next target, time, and place.



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