SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Yesterday’s suicide bomb blast near Alamdar Road in Quetta killed eight men including two security personnel. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) has once again proudly owned up to its misdeed. Khaliq Hazara’s supporters were too quick to say that he was the target. But this is not true. The explosives used for the bombing were 100 kg. For a suicide bomber to kill just one person, 5 kilos of explosives will be enough. Such a light load will make it easy for a suicide bomber to get closer to the target. Khaliq Hazara has done nothing to offend the LeJ. The LeJ terrorists have never made an attempt to kill him because he has never reached out to the peaceful majority of non-Takfiri Muslims of Baluchistan against the LeJ. He suits the terrorists.
The fact is that the Shia genocide continues unabated. Like Quetta, there were bomb blasts in Karachi too targeting Shias. Fortunately, no one was killed, but the injured were Shias.
The governments in Islamabad and the provinces have been claiming to have taken strict measures to stop terrorism, but that is not what is happening. Terrorists can be stopped if and when the Army wishes to. But the Shias are an exception. The LeJ kills them at will and goes unpunished. The Takfiris have decided not to take a break from killing the Shias. Whereas they have started pre-poll rigging by targeting the leaders of the ANP and threatening to kill the PPP leaders if they take out political rallies, they have carried on their genocide of the Shias. The LeJ message is clear: The Shias will not be allowed to live a life which the constitution of Pakistan guarantees them. They will not be allowed even to vote in peace. The whole exercise of ‘peaceful’ election is futile. All claims about stopping the LeJ terrorists are bogus when it comes to the Shias. The state of Pakistan has capitulated to the Saudi Islamofascism which is being facilitated by the Army/ISI and executed by the LeJ. This is why, 55 ASWJ/LeJ terrorists have been allowed to take part in the elections which will choose ‘honest’ people!. -www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, has said that the Boston Marathon bombing suspects intended to blow up their remaining explosives in Times Square.
Speaking at a joint press conference on Thursday with Police Commissioner Raymon Kelly, Bloomberg said that the Tsarnaev brothers had a pressure cooker bomb and five pipe bombs they intended to set off.
"Last night we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets," Bloomberg said at New York City Hall.
"He and his older brother intended to drive to New York and detonate those explosives in Times Square."
The mayor said that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the captured suspect, told Boston investigators from his hospital bed that he and his brother Tamerlan had discussed about "spontaneously" going to New York to detonate their remaining explosives.
Miriam Conrad, Tsarnaev's lawyer, declined to comment on Thursday on whether her client was still talking with investigators.
On Wednesday, two US officials, speaking anonymously to the AP news agency, revealed that the federal government had added Tamerlan to a terrorist database 18 months before the deadly explosions.
Five days after the US determined who was allegedly behind the deadly Boston marathon terror attacks, Washington is attempting to piece together what happened and whether there were any unconnected dots buried in the US government files that, if connected, could have prevented the bombings.
"It's now clear that both the FBI and the CIA were aware of Tamerlan Tsarnaev for more than a year," said Al Jazeera reporter Dominic Kane.
"When the hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers concluded last week, police and law enforcement agencies spoke of it as a victory.
"But now the revelation that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on a watchlist of potential terror suspects might put that in a different light."
Tsarnaev, 19, told authorities that his older brother, 26, had only recently recruited him to be part of the attack, the US officials said on Wednesday.
Dzhokhar is said to have told the FBI that he and his brother were angry about the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the killing of Muslims there, officials said. How much of those conversations will end up in court is unclear.
The CIA added Tamerlan to a huge, classified database of known and suspected terrorists a year and a half ago, officials said, an acknowledgment that will undoubtedly prompt a congressional inquiry about whether the Obama administration adequately investigated tips from Russia that Tsarnaev had posed a security threat.
Shortly after the bombings, US officials said the intelligence community had no information about threats to the marathon before the April 15 explosions.
The US officials who spoke to AP were close to the investigation, but insisted on anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the case with reporters.
Investigators have said the brothers appeared to have been radicalised through materials on the internet and have found no evidence tying them to any one group.
Tamerlan, whom authorities have described as the driving force behind the plot, was killed in a shootout with police.
The CIA made the request to add Tamerlan's name to the terrorist database after the Russian government contacted the agency with concerns that he had become a follower of extremism.
About six months earlier, the FBI had separately investigated Tsarnaev, also at Russia's request, but the FBI found no ties to terrorism, officials said.
Officials say they never found the type of information on Tsarnaev that would have elevated his profile among counterterrorism investigators and placed him on the terrorist watch list.
Politicians who were briefed by the FBI said they had more questions than answers about the investigation of Tsarnaev.
The Senate is due to be briefed on the investigation on Thursday.
Officials said on Wednesday that Dzhokhar acknowledged to the FBI his role in the attacks but did so before he was advised of his constitutional rights to remain silent and seek a lawyer.
It is unclear whether those statements would be admissible in a criminal trial and, if not, whether prosecutors would need them to win a conviction.
Officials said physical evidence, including a 9mm handgun and pieces of a remote-control device commonly used in toys, was recovered from the scene.
Authorities had previously said Dzhokhar exchanged gunfire with them for more than an hour on Friday night before they captured him inside a boat covered by a tarp in a suburban Boston neighbourhood backyard.
But the two US officials said on Wednesday that he was unarmed when captured, raising questions about the gunfire and how he was injured.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) France's embassy in Libya was hit by what appeared to be a car bomb on Tuesday, injuring two guards in the first such attack in the Libyan capital since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.
"There was an attack on the embassy. We think it was a booby trapped car," a French official told Reuters. "There was a lot of damage and there are two guards wounded."
In Paris, foreign minister Laurent Fabius condemned what he called a heinous attack and said everything would be done to find the perpetrators.
"I send my solidarity and deepest sympathy to the two injured French guards and my wishes for their recovery," he said in a statement.
One resident living less than 100 metres from the embassy said his windows shook when the first blast occurred.
A witness who lives near the embassy, Asad Naeeli, told Al Jazeera that the bomb went off around 7am [0500 GMT].
“This is a big concern as a Libyan. You hear about things happening in different cities and now it is close to home," he said. "It is a big concern for the security of Libya, it will delay many things."
Diplomatic missions have been targeted in Libya, most notably an attack on the US mission in the eastern city of Benghazi last September that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans.
However Tuesday's attack is the first such serious assault on an embassy or foreign mission in the capital, Tripoli.
Libya's new rulers are still struggling to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons and a myriad of armed militias who often do as they please.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –A suicide bomber late-Thursday blew himself up inside a Baghdad cafe popular with young people using the Internet and playing pool, killing 32 and wounding 65 more in one of the worst single attacks in the Iraqi capital this year.
Iraqi police and morgue officials updated the death toll from 27 after finding additional bodies in a back street Friday who were thrown out of the cafe by the powerful explosion.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.
The late evening blast in west Baghdad came just two days before the first provincial elections since US troops pulled out of the country more than a year ago.
Among the dead were at least three children and a woman.
It exploded at the Dubai cafe, which lies on the 2nd or 3rd floor of a small shopping mall in a neighborhood that is filled with families as it contains restaurants and clothes shops.
The cafe itself, however, is mostly frequented by young men playing billiards and video games.
Security forces restricted movements in Amriyah on Friday in the wake of the blast.
The bombing is the latest in a wave of violence, with 50 people killed in nationwide attacks on Monday, and March having been the deadliest month in Iraq since last summer, according to an AFP tally.
Police and witnesses said emergency workers struggled to extricate victims trapped when the blast collapsed part of the building that also housed a shopping center below the Dubai cafe.
"It was a huge blast," a police official at the scene said. "Part of the building fell in and debris hit people shopping in the mall below."
Ten years after the US-led invasion, Islamists linked to al-Qaeda carry out at least one major attack a month, but insurgents have stepped up suicide attacks since the start of the year as part of a campaign to provoke confrontation between the country's Shia and Sunni Muslims.
Security officials have been expecting more attacks before Saturday's ballot for provincial councils.
Al-Qaeda's local wing, Islamic State of Iraq, has said it will keep up attacks, and security officials say the group is gaining ground and recruits in the western desert bordering Syria, thanks in part to a boost from the flow of insurgents and funds into the neighboring country's war. -www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Law enforcement officials in the US say they have recovered forensic evidence that suggests the two explosive devices which ripped through participants of the Boston Marathon on Monday may have been inside heavy black nylon bags.
Investigators who found pieces of black nylon at the scene suspect the bombs used in the attack were in dark-coloured bags that would have been heavy to carry.
Speaking at a joint law enforcement news conference on Tuesday, Richard DesLauriers, the FBI special agent in charge of the case, said that investigators had received "voluminous tips" and were interviewing witnesses and were analysing the crime scene.
DesLauriers pledged "we will go to the ends of the Earth" to find whoever carried out the deadly attack on one of the city's most famous civic holidays, Patriots Day.
Authorities served a warrant on a suburban Boston home and appealed for any images or audio of the blasts.
Earlier, Barack Obama, the US president, confirmed the FBI is investigating the Boston bombings as an "act of terror".
Obama said that investigators had yet to find a culprit for the two bombings that killed three people and injured 176.
The president called the bombing "a heinous and cowardly act" used to target innocent civilians.
Amid heightened security across the country, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said a letter containing ricin or another poision had been sent to the office of Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
The explosions at the marathon took place about 10 seconds and about 90 metres apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet.
The explosives were made of pressure cookers packed with gunpowder and shrapnel, law enforcement sources said.
The sources said the explosives were in six-litre pressure cookers and placed in black duffel bags that were placed on the ground.
The bags contained shards of metal, nails and ball bearings.
Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher said such a bomb was set to explode by using a mobile phone and had been used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The police were saying that there were traces of pressure cooker found at the site," he said.
"The suggestion is that the pressure cooker was put in a backpack and placed on the ground, and that is why we've got so many lower body injuries."
Our correspondent said that would explain why there was a small blast which caused a great deal of damage to the people nearby, as the shrapnel spread over a wide area.
Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts, said that no unexploded bombs were found at the marathon. He said the only explosives were the ones that went off on Monday.
Massachusetts state police confirmed that a search warrant related to the investigation into the explosions was served Monday on night in Revere, but provided no further details.
Some investigators were seen leaving the Revere house early on Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag.
Dr Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, said he saw an X-ray of one victim's leg that had "what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it - similar in the appearance to BBs", referring to ball bearings.
Police said three people were killed. Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the dead. The boy's mother, Denise, and six-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured in the blasts.
Police on Tuesday identified a 29-year-old restaurant manager as the second of three people killed in the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Krystle Campbell had gone with her best friend to take a picture of the friend's boyfriend crossing the finish line on Monday afternoon.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said 17 people were in a critical condition. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals.-www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: Al Jazeera
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- At least nine people have been killed and 27 others injured in two separate car bomb attacks in central Iraq, police officials said.
According to Iraqi police, a car bomb exploded in Aziziyah town, 55 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, on Tuesday, killing seven people and injuring 20 others.
Earlier, two soldiers were killed after a car bomb went off near an army patrol north of Baghdad. Seven people, including five civilians, were also injured in the attack.
The attacks come a day after at least 55 were killed and 200 others injured in more than 30 attacks across Iraq.
Violence has increased in Iraq in recent weeks as the country is preparing to hold provincial elections on 20 April, the first in the country since 2010.
A total of 14 election candidates have already been murdered.
Iraq's provincial elections are due to be held in 12 of the country's 18 provinces and soldiers and policemen cast their ballots for the elections on Saturday, a week ahead of the main vote.
More than 8,000 candidates have registered to compete for the 378 seats up for grabs and an estimated 16.2 million Iraqis are eligible to vote.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- The twin bombing at the major northeastern US city of Boston near the finish line of the city’s annual cross-country marathon race has killed at least three people and injured over 130 other as major cities across the nation have gone on high security alert.
As runners in the prestigious Boston Marathon race continued to cross the finish line on Monday afternoon, two bomb blasts, about 15 seconds apart, went off reportedly by a remote-control devise, releasing orange balls of fire into the air and lifting runners off their feet, with many of the injured left with lost limbs.
The destructive impact of the two blasts quickly spread across the major city and throughout the country, as top American officials and lawmakers described the bombings as terrorist attacks reminiscent of the September 11, 2001 incidents in New York and Virginia that left nearly 3,000 people dead.
This is while air traffic at Boston’s busy Logan Airport was halted as police officers demanded motorists to evacuate the city, and mobile phone service was temporarily cut to prevent potential remote detonation of explosive devices.
City authorities and medical personnel reported that the casualties included children, with one of those killed identified as an 8-year-old boy. At least 10 other children were also reported among the injured.
A 54-year-old spectator, Allan Kaufman, was watching the marathon at the finish line when the bombs went off. He turned away when he saw body parts on the sidewalk, according to one local news report. “We can’t do this anymore. We can’t have open events anymore,” he said. “You can’t control it.”
Meanwhile, local press reports said a surveillance photo showed a man with two backpacks at the scene shortly before the explosions. There are also reports that a “Saudi national” that was injured during the incident and taken to a local hospital was being questioned by authorities.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Monday night, however, that there were no suspects but that “the police were talking to some people.”
According to police officials, the bombs had been placed in trash cans, less than 100 yards apart and that they found at least two suspicious packages at other downtown locations, including a footbridge near the city’s Copley Plaza Hotel.
Moreover, a bomb squad reportedly exploded an unknown object found near the Boston Public Library. The police radio crackled with reports of fires and explosions, local news reports said, adding that “the city’s core was shut down, and buses cordoned off major streets.” Police took to loudspeakers to tell motorists to “evacuate the city.” Long lines of ambulances queued outside some of the city’s finest hotels.
Federal authorities, meanwhile, were treating the blasts as a terrorist attack as FBI special agent Richard DesLauriers in Boston said an investigation is being launched by a joint terrorism task force of federal, state and local authorities. “It is a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation,” he added during a Monday night news conference.
Security was further reported tightened not only in Boston but in New York City and at several key locations in the capital Washington, including the US Congress and in front of the White House.
President Barack Obama called Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to express his concern for those injured in the blasts, and directed his administration to provide whatever assistance was necessary.
The Boston Marathon attracts an estimated half-million spectators and some 20,000 participants every year. The sports event has been held on Patriots Day, the third Monday of April, since 1897.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday, leaving two people dead and dozens more wounded.
A third explosion was heard just before 4 p.m., about an hour after the first two blasts, at the nearby John F. Kennedy Library. The police later said that episode may have been unrelated.
The two explosions, which occurred seconds apart, created a chaotic scene, as wounded runners and bloodied spectators were helped to a nearby tent that was being used for weary runners, The Associated Press reported. Some were crying and several said they saw limbs on the ground.
Many blocks around the race’s finish line were cordoned off while the police began an investigation.
Police officials said they did not yet have any suspects in custody. A person briefed on preliminary developments in the investigation said that members of Boston’s Joint Terrorist Task Force were at Brigham and Women’s Hospital interviewing a wounded man seen running from the scene of the two blasts, near 671 Boylston Street. The person said that police investigators had contacted the local gas and electric company and determined that the explosions were not related to gas or electrical service.
The authorities also found a device at St. James and Trinity Streets that did not explode, the person said, and two other devices were found, including one in Newton, outside of Boston.
The Mandarin, Marriott and Lenox hotels were evacuated because of reports of suspicious packages, but no confirmed explosive devices have yet been found at those hotels.
The person also said that the maritime security level in Boston was raised from level one to level two; three is the highest level.
“We’re treating this as an ongoing event at this time,” Edward F. Davis, Boston’s police commissioner, said at a late afternoon news conference.
He said he was unsure whether the first two explosions were related, but that his department was treating them as such. He added that the police had no advance warning of the explosions.
The commissioner declined to call the blasts a terrorist attack, but said, “you can reach your own conclusions about what happened here.”
At the White House, Obama said that those responsible would “feel the full weight of justice.”
Several news outlets reported that a loud explosion was heard on the north side of Boylston Street, near a photo bridge that marks the finish line, at about 3 p.m. Another explosion was heard shortly afterward. The first two blasts occurred about 50 to 100 yards apart, Mr. Davis said, about four hours after the start of the men’s race, which meant that there were still several thousand runners yet to finish the course.
Mr. Davis added that a “controlled explosion” also took place on Boylston Street.
People were also cleared from an area around the Copley Plaza Hotel after a package was found on a footbridge nearby.
More than 23,000 runners started the race and 17,600 had already crossed the finish line. Nearly 4,500 other runners did not finish and were presumably diverted from the course.
Will Ritter, the press secretary for Gabriel Gomez, a Republican candidate for Senate, was trying to arrange a party for Mr. Gomez, who was running the marathon. He said the explosions sounded like the end of a fireworks display, “the concussions you send off, it sounded like that.”
People started screaming, “Bomb! Run!” People ran east while the police ran west, Mr. Ritter said, adding that he saw injured people being wheeled away. Many runners never made it to the finish line. “These people are at the edge of their physical ability, wandering around sweaty and wondering where to go.”
Authorities in large cities are typically on the highest level of alert for events like a marathon, said Anthony Roman, a security expert.
“It is quite the counterterrorism effort,” said Mr. Roman, who runs Roman & Associates, a New York firm.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) At least nine people have been killed and seven others wounded after a bomb exploded on a bus in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, officials say.
Fazal Wahid Khan, a senior police officer, confirmed the toll to the AFP news agency, saying bomb disposal officials told him that Saturday's blast was a "timed device".
Shafi Ullah Khan, another police official, confirmed the attack in the city's Matani suburb for which no one has claimed responsibility so far.
The dead and injured included women and children, and authorities transported them to a government hospital, an official said.
Abdul Haq, a senior bomb disposal expert told AFP that four to five kilogrammes of highly explosive material was used.
Bus driver Jehanghir Khan, who was not hurt, told reporters that the device had been planted under a seat.
"I didn't see any suspicious person. I don't know who planted this bomb. I was passing through the bazar of Matni when I suddenly heard the blast," he said.
Fresh military push
He said the blast damaged some shops nearby, as well as the bus.
"I was going to buy some milk when a huge blast took place. It was so powerful that it threw me back in my shop," Asad Khan, an 18-year-old shopkeeper in the market told AFP from his hospital bed.
The explosion occurred just hours after gunmen blew up the election offices of an independent candidate in the North Wazirstan tribal district fuelling concerns that violence will mar general elections on May 11.
An intelligence official in the city said the attack may be a reaction to a fresh military push in the Tirah valley of the Khyber tribal district, where the army has been fighting Taliban and Lashkar-e-Islam fighters.
Military officials said heavy fighting between Pakistani troops and fighters has killed 23 soldiers and 110 gunmen in Khyber this week.
Peshawar, capital of troubled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which borders Afghanistan, is one of Pakistan's most volatile regions and suffers deadly attacks almost on a monthly basis, many blamed on the Pakistani Taliban.
Earlier, this month dozens of gunmen attacked an electricity plant in the same region, killing seven people and disrupting power to 100,000 people overnight, officials say.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) A car bomb in central Damascus has killed at least 15 people and injured 53, Syrian state television has reported.
Monday's blast, which state-run media blamed on “terrorists”, went off near the Sabaa Bahrat Square, one of the capital's biggest roundabouts.
The Syrian Central Bank, a mosque and a school are located nearby.
A massive cloud of black smoke rose from the area as ambulances rushed to the scene.
The explosion is the latest in a series of car bombs and suicide bombings to hit the Syrian capital.
The last such explosion in central Damascus was on February 22, when a suicide car bombing near the ruling Baath Party headquarters killed 53 people and wounded more than 200, according to state media.
TV images on Monday showed thick black smoke billowing from damaged cars and several bodies lying in the street.
Paramedics were seen carrying on a stretcher a young woman wearing a jeans skirt, her face bloodied, into an ambulance.
Shaken teenage students holding their backpacks were seen walking away.