Suicide bomber kills 30 Shia mourners in Karachi

A suicide bomber killed 30 Pakistani Shia worshippers as they marched in a procession in the port city of Karachi. The blast also wounded up to 60 more Pakistanis, who were commemorating Ashura, the holiest day on the Shia religious calendar. Riots broke out on the streets of Karachi after the attack. Angry Pakistanis pelted policemen with stones and fired guns into the air.

The bombing during the Ashura procession is the latest attack in a campaign against Shia worshippers in Pakistan and Pakistan-held Kashmir.

Yesterday a suicide bomber killed 15 Shia mourners and wounded 100 more in an attack on a procession in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-held Kashmir. Two policemen were among those killed. Another bombing in Karachi on Dec. 26 wounded 26 people. That attack was carried out using a remotely detonated car bomb.

While no group has taken credit for the attacks, the al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is the prime suspect.

The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is a radical, anti-Shia terror group that has integrated with al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has an extensive network in Pakistan and serves as the muscle for terror attacks.

Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has a strong presence in South Waziristan, where it formed alliances with the Taliban, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and al Qaeda, and created a group called the Fedayeen-e-Islam. The Fedayeen-e-Islam took credit for the deadly September 2008 suicide attack on the Islamabad Marriott Hotel, the March 2009 storming of a police station in Lahore, and a host of other terror attacks.

Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and the Taliban have shifted fighters and leaders from the tribal areas to Karachi in the wake of the Pakistani Army’s operations in South Waziristan, Arakzai, and Kurram. On Dec. 17, Pakistani police arrested a senior aide to Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.

Last week, Karachi police told Daily Times that they had intelligence that indicated Lashkar-e-Jhangvi would strike at the Shia in Karachi.

“They plan to carry out suicide bombings and target killings,” an anonymous police official told Daily Time last week. “These terrorists want to show their strength to the law enforcers and intelligence agencies, and they also want to take revenge of the killings of their leaders and workers in the last couple of months in the city.”

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.

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21 Comments

  • ArneFufkin says:

    Must be those “bad” Taliban up to their usual senseless murder and mayhem again. Islamabad better strike another peace deal with them post haste.

  • Karachi-ite says:

    Glad to see you covered it.
    Sad that even this has to invoke A-Q
    Deeply sad that this is happening to my fellow citizens.
    Inna Lillah Wa Inna ‘Ilayhi Raji’Un
    From God we come, and to God we return

  • LWJFan says:

    Turkistan Bitani group banned, offices sealed
    //www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\12\28\story_28-12-2009_pg7_4
    “The security forces have also shifted the group’s commander to an undisclosed location.”
    The “Good Taliban” are being rescued by ISI, for the time being as the American pressure grows The same LET/JUD “offices sealed” routine.. replayed.

  • T Ruth says:

    Pakistanis had better realise soon that they are not caught between a rock and a hard place.
    They ARE in fact a hard place caught between a rock and a rock.

  • Spooky says:

    What worries me is, unlike Peshawar, Karachi has tensions brewing even during the best of times between Mohajirs, Afghans, and Sindhis. Makes me wonder how likely it would be for the terrorists to turn the city into another Mogadishu…one looks back at the Karachi riots during the 90s…

  • Render says:

    Mr. T. Ruth!
    That was a classic quote. On so many levels.
    Permission to quote you (with your nic attached)?
    STELLER
    OVERDRIVE,
    R

  • T Ruth says:

    Hi Render thank you for your words of appreciation!
    I am glad that they resonated with you and yes, i felt it also at many levels.
    Please feel free to use them as you wish–no credit required, as the inspiration comes from LWJ and these conversations that Bill facilitates.
    UNCONDITIONAL
    FREEDOM,
    T

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/29/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  • T Ruth says:

    Karachi-ite,
    “From God we come, and to God we return”
    But that shouldn’t mean that all the while in between we spend our lives creating mischief!
    Pakistan has managed to create a society with a culture of violence. At the centre of this culture has been Pak Army rule, its monstrous ISI, its unrest with its neighbors, the uninhibited growth of madrassas largely funded by its Islamist patron Saudi Arabia, its unmonitored growth of jihadist groups invested in by the Army, its unchecked growth of terror-training camps across its untame areas and so on and so forth.
    Culture is like setting yoghurt–once you put it in, it sours the whole milk.
    Build whatever protection you want, it’ll get you in the end.
    “Deeply sad that this is happening to my fellow citizens.” I comisserate. By the way, did you express the same sentiments when it was happening to your fellow neighbors in Bombay?
    Or did you think that that was their problem and not your own…
    What will you do now? How will you respond? What do you think Pakistan can do to lift itself out of this abyss?

  • Spooky says:

    Rather light-hearted for a terrible event ain’t it guys? I mean yeah, the Pakistani government is at fault, but not even bothering with condolences to the actual victims or trying to understand the significance is rather cold.

  • jayant says:

    From God we come, and to God we return!
    And in between we become the devil in the name of GOD!

  • Solomon2 says:

    Several thousand mourners attended funerals on Tuesday for victims of a suicide bombing that killed 43 people in Pakistan’s commercial capital…
    “I am one hundred percent sure that the United States and its agents are behind this attack, and all other such attacks in the country,” said Syed Kausar Hussain Zaidi, a Shi’ite lawyer. “There aim is to destabilise Pakistan. The so-called religious extremists spreading this terror are nothing but U.S. puppets.”
    …Mourners expressed anger, shouting confusing slogans. “Down with America. Down with the Taliban. Down with Israel.”

    link
    Very confused.

  • Raven says:

    Spooky:
    I feel for the victims. They should not be targeted whatever LeJ was trying to prove or sending the message to.
    What gets me is when you and I say Pakistan government is at fault but Pakistan government interior minister already blamed “enemies” for this act. This is a code-speak for any one (US, Israel, India, etc.) but their own mistakes bearing fruit.
    I would ask, is Pakistani government and it’s citizens are even more cold-hearted to this event than thw posters on this forum? How come we don’t see any mass protests and demand for action?

  • MalangJan says:

    This is very sad moment for Pakistan & Karachi. People of Pakistan has no option other than to stop Paki military establishment for nurturing & sponsering terrorism the likes of Laskhar Jangvi an AQ affiliate which commited these murders. This image of Pakistan as an epi center of terrorism can no longer be sold to international comunity to achieve foriegn policy objectibes or free money. I think it is time for Pakistani people to ask for help from international comunity to get rid of this army establishment & prosecute the non state actors like General Hamid Gul in Hague for war crimes.

  • omar says:

    Sad. But I think the long term trend is away from the salafist-wahabi extremists and towards a more eclectic, diverse and “live and let live” Islam and these terrorists will eventually lose.
    Of course, to the extent that there really ARE anti-muslim conspirators in the world (and there must be some, all conspiracies are not imaginary), they may wish to keep this salafist tendency going as it is the surest way to undermine and destroy the social fabric of various Muslim communities. …I am just being bitterly ironic. …I hope no “infidels” take my sarcastic advice to heart and start sending donations to the nearest Saudi mosque. If the salafists get stronger, 1 billion Muslims will degenerate into Somalia X 1000 and that will be a disaster for everyone, not just for Muslims…

  • T Ruth says:

    Spooky, Sir, read again….this time slowly. I quote and, with these clicks, i repeat myself “I commisserate.”
    But here’s the nub:
    You say-
    ” I mean yeah, the Pakistani government is at fault, but..”
    Spooky, did the Pakistani government just arrive from the moon? Installed by moon-men? Does Pakistani society exist apart from its government?
    And one more question while you are trying trying to ride your high horse, pray why don’t you help us “understand the significance”. I am the least bit interested in understanding any aspect of Islam that i don’t already know. But maybe you have some larger personal interest in the subject, including the significance of the month of muharram and Ashura and this one time willing to listen….
    ALL
    WARMED
    UP,
    T

  • Xavier says:

    Omar,
    Your portrayal of salafist/wahabists is political rather than factual.
    It is much easier to agree (even for a non-muslim) with Salafist version of Islam than Barveli for ex.
    Why?
    Lets look at the salafist/wahabist argument.
    They say that Muhammad (ibn Abdullah) fough with 7th century non-muslim Arabian tribes till they converted or perished. Now since Mohammad is central figure in Islam, a muslim would not be wrong to follow in his footsteps, and most of Quran agrees(morally) with what Mohammad did.
    So salafists/wahabists are the logical future of true Islam. Others are just posers.
    This is what Islam is about(spreading till everyone is conquered) , starting from the founder.
    The strategy is clear
    1. Once you become a Muslim if you leave you are dead.
    2. Have as many children as possible and indoctrinate them. All over the world Muslim fertility rate is larger than any other religion. You can even compare educated/rich Muslims vs non-Muslims and Muslims would still have higher children
    3. Apply Jizya so that can fund future conversion.
    4. Enslave the population by using brutal laws/punishments such as sharia.
    The moderate muslims are just PR part of this strategy. That’s why they never dare to fight extremists from their religion.
    I am not a muslim but that’s the point, I can see the strategy clearly.

  • grh says:

    Found this on AFP and BBC. Interesting not on Al Jeezera (English). I don’t expect to see in the US news. The TTP takes full and complete credit for the depraved attack on a religious procession. The expected response was rioting in Karachi. Obvious intent is to spark a sectarian war in Pakistan.
    “We carried out the suicide bombing in Karachi,” the AFP news agency quoted Asmatullah Shaheen, one of the commanders of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as saying.
    “He [the bomber] was our man. His name was Hasnain Muawia and we did it to protect the honour of the companions of the holy prophet,” said Mr Shaheen whose name is on a government list of 20 most-wanted militants.
    It is really this simple: The Salafists are behind this and the vast majority of the similar carnage on planet earth. The assertion there are efforts by the US to support these wicked miscreants is pure fantasy. Watch US actions and look at who we are fighting and trying to kill and stop: the Salafists. The evidence is US blood and treasure.
    If you know the geographic coordinates of where any of these degenerates hang out, post them.

  • Mr T says:

    Freedom of religion without fear of persecution will help. Let people choose what faith they want to believe in if any at all. Forcing faith on people by the sword is not faith. Its coercion under threat of pain, death, or slavery. Countries that try to force people into a faith or religion will always have conflict. When the religion proclaims violence as a just means to that end, then there will be violence.
    Not only is that logical, it is borne out by historical fact in many “Muslim” countries. Of course, they blame the west but suppression of freedom of religion is a main factor. Muslims kill themselves over which version of Islam is the correct one. This murderer attacked Shiites because they are not practicing what he has been told is the correct way to practice Islam. His handlers have proclaimed that this kind of violence is ordained by the Koran. So who is to blame? The west, Shiites, or the perversion of religious zealots who believe violence is ok as the means to an end.

  • T Ruth says:

    Mr T,
    You said it exactly right!
    Its what i meant when in signing off one of my posts above i said “UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM”,
    i would include in there other aspects of freedom which its best not to get into here.
    The freedom to practice whatever religion you want, or none at all, should come in this 21st century with the natural responsibility that the State will not condone violence and killing under any circumstances. Any state that develops a track record to the contrary gets chucked out of the UN and/or invites serious collective action.
    If to prevent misuse by eg a shariah-type or say a communist state, it helps for the World to abolish the death penalty altogether, this may well be something worth discussing?!
    Else one can’t but help get the feeling that we’re still living in a Dark Age…

  • T Ruth says:

    Jayant, that was interesting….that we were saying much the same thing about what happens in “between” within roughly a half hour of each other….

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis