Praying-Out Witches, Demons and Sarah Palin

Questions for Candidate Palin and Sister Sarah

eileen fleming

The New Apostolic Reformation/ NAR is a religious movement of elites and regular people guided by an entire genre of books, texts, videos and other media. Among NAR adherents, is Sarah Palin and the NAR just may be the largest religious movement you’ve never heard of.

Jesus called politicians foxes and in a country where Sarah Palin is being touted as presidential material, the issue of faith in politics has never been more deadly.

Researcher Rachel Tabachnick, reported regarding NAR videos that they “demonstrate the taking control of communities and nations through large networks of ‘prayer warriors’ whose spiritual warfare is used to expel and destroy the demons that cause societal ills. Once the territorial demons, witches, and generational curses are removed, the ‘born-again’ Christians in the videos take control of society.”

“The movement’s notion of “spiritual warfare” has spread from the California suburbs to an East-Coast inner city, and has impacted policy decisions in the developing world. Movement operatives are well-connected enough to have testified before Congress and to have received millions of dollars in government abstinence-only sex-education grants. Leaders in the NAR movement refer to themselves as ‘apostles.’”[1]

When Palin was 24, she joined a spiritual warfare network. Rachel Tabachnick, continues:

“These communication networks allow apostles to disseminate new prophecy to their ‘prayer warriors.’ During the presidential election this included prophecies about Palin, including one in which Glazier described a vision that Palin would take the ‘mantle’ of leadership after a period of national mourning, apparently following John McCain’s demise.

“The first Transformation film so impressed pastors in Wasilla, Alaska, that they contacted some of the religious leaders featured in the movie including Thomas Muthee, who was shown driving a witch out of Kiambu, Kenya. Wasilla Assembly of God developed an ongoing relationship with Muthee and a 2005 church video shows him anointing Palin. Unfortunately the press picked up on the witch part of the story, and not the more important fact that Palin has ties to top leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation.

“I believe this movement’s threat to separation of church and state is greater than some of the more overtly theocratic movements of the religious right. The inclusion of women and all races in leadership roles, and their enthusiastic sponsorship of social services conflicts with a popular notion about religious fundamentalism. Despite their radical strategies, leaders in the movement have been labeled in the press as moderate…a ‘new evangelical.’[Ibid]   (read HERE)


Which Mullah Abdul Salaam Does Pakistan Have In Custody?

[The mystery surrounding the recent Pakistani arrests of Afghan Taliban leaders can best be seen in the following alleged pictures of Mullah Abdul Salaam.  The first picture comes from Der Spiegel.  It will be remembered that the northern Afghan territory of Kunduz is allegedly under Salaam’s command, a district under German NATO troops.  This was the location of the US attack upon a gas tanker in support of German forces, which killed as many as 60 Afghans, most of them civilians.  This implies that the German source should have a real photo of Salaam.

The next photo is supplied by the widely-read Long Wars Journal.  This photo allegedly comes from an online Islamic militant site, Al-Samoud Magazine.

This is a photo of a former Taliban leader by the same name.  He was one of those leaders who were dealing with British Envoy Michael Semple and EU diplomat Mervyn Patterson, when they were exposed and expelled from Afghanistan.  Excerpts from these negotiations are included at the end of this article.

This Mullah Salaam became an official in the Karzai government.  This next one is his photo from Reuter’s:

There are further questions that must be asked:  (1)  Which of these Afghans does Pakistan have in custody;  –giving the German source the benefit of the doubt, due to its familiarity with the Mullah Salaam who has been leading attacks upon its troops– (2)  Why would a respected news source like the Long War Journal put-out a photo of this mysterious figure without double-checking other sources, or put-out a purposely misleading photo? –NOTE–Long War Journal, along with Jamestown Foundation, proved to be original sources for this erroneous picture of Baitullah Mehsud.

Key tribal leader on verge of deserting Taliban

Oct 2007

By Tom Coghlan in Kabul

An Afghan tribal leader is in talks to defect from the Taliban and take thousands of armed tribesmen with him to fight alongside British forces in southern Afghanistan.

The Daily Telegraph has learned that the Afghan government hopes to seal the deal this week with Mullah Abdul Salaam and his Alizai tribe, which has been fighting alongside the Taliban in Helmand province.

Diplomats confirmed yesterday that Mullah Salaam was expected to change sides within days. He is a former Taliban corps commander and governor of Herat province under the government that fell in 2001.

Military sources said British forces in the province are “observing with interest” the potential deal in north Helmand, which echoes the efforts of US commanders in Iraq’s western province to split Sunni tribal leaders from their al-Qa’eda allies.

The Afghan deal would see members of the Alizai tribe around the Taliban-held town of Musa Qala quit the insurgency and pledge support to the Afghan government. It would be the first time that the Kabul government and its Western allies have been able exploit tribal divisions that exist within the Taliban in southern Afghanistan….

According to tribal elders in Helmand and Western diplomats in Kabul, Mullah Salaam had been attempting to negotiate with the Afghan government in secret.

But details of the talks were leaked late last week to his erstwhile allies and this reportedly led to a split in the Taliban ranks.

Other Taliban leaders have since plotted to assassinate Mullah Salaam. “Mullah Abdul Salaam is very influential and he has the support of thousands of our tribe,” said Haji Saleem Khan, the head of the Shura (or tribal council) of the Alizai in Helmand.

“When the Taliban found out that he planned to join the government three days ago they tried to kill him. But they have failed….

Some sections of the Alizai, by contrast, have been dominant within both the drugs trade and provincial power structures.

Sher Mohammad Akhundzada, the former provincial governor who was allegedly a kingpin in the local drugs trade, was an Alizai.

The mysterious Afghan warlord trusted to spread peace in a divided province

January 12, 2008

….Mullah Salaam’s rise to power in Musa Qala, the test case for British efforts to evict the Taleban and install central authority, is a classic Afghan tale of intrigue, bloodshed, farce and fate. In an interview with The Times the former warlord explained how last year he had severed relations with the Taleban, was courted secretly by a foreign diplomat and eventually swapped sides to join the British-led effort.

“The Taleban called a shurah [council] to attack the district centre and coalition forces there but though invited I did not attend nor fight,” he said. “It was not a good thing.”

He was then approached by Michael Semple, an Irish diplomat working for the European Union in Kabul. Mr Semple, a fluent Pashto-speaking veteran of Afghanistan, was expelled last month by the Government in Kabul for his back-channel contacts with the Taleban.

Before being ordered out he managed to put together a deal with the former Taleban commander. “We discussed reconciliation and unity in Afghanistan,” Mullah Salaam said of the first of his several meetings with Mr Semple. “I was surprised to hear of his recent expulsion.”

Mullah Salaam went to Kabul for a meeting with President Karzai last autumn. He caught the Afghan leader’s imagination with the promise of a tribal uprising against the Taleban, which could, potentially, deliver Musa Qala into government hands with barely a shot being fired. The idea led to a War Cabinet meeting in Kabul, which included the British and American ambassadors, President Karzai and General Dan McNeill, the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The result was operation Mar Karadad, which had to be accelerated at the end of November when Kabul heard news that Mullah Salaam, now back in Musa Qala, had attracted the attention of the Taleban and the uprising was imminent.

There was no uprising. When Afghan, British and US units closed in on Musa Qala last month, Mullah Salaam stayed in his compound in Shakahraz, ten miles east, with a small cortège of fighters, where he made increasingly desperate pleas for help.

“He said that he would bring all the tribes with him but they never materialised,” recalled one British officer at the forefront of the operation. “Instead, all that happened was a series of increasingly fraught and frantic calls from him for help to Karzai.”

In spite of his broken promises Mullah Salaam was still one of the few credible local leaders prepared to work with the British. He also proved to be a skilled orator. This week he took his antiTaleban campaign to elders in the rainswept village of Chaghali, ten miles from Musa Qala.

“It is enough now,” he urged the 30 men huddled around him. “Our dead have been eaten by the dogs.” He gestured at a small group of British and American officers. “You can see around you these people from noble nations have come to build you streets and schools. If they should ask you to leave your religion then you have a right to fight them, but not because they come to bring you streets and schools.”


Wake Up, Punjab, Against the PML-N, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Taliban Alliance

Wake up, Punjab, against the PML-N, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Taliban alliance – by Nadeem Paracha

لاہور خود کش حملہ

Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N’s political alliance with a terrorist organisation Sipahe-e-Sahaba (an affiliate of Taliban and Al Qaeda) seems to be paying off. Only recently, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered release of two most dangerous terrorists belonging to Sipah-e-Sahaba; the gang seems to be back at work sooner than any one expected.

Today, a suicide car bomb attack on a police intelligence unit in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore killed at least 13 people and wounded about 65 during Monday’s morning rush hour, officials said.

The attack outside a federal police office bore all the hallmarks of an operation by al Qaeda-backed Pakistani Taliban militants seeking to topple the government. The city’s top administrator, Sajjad Bhutta, said between 580-600 kgs of explosives were used in the attack. A doctor at a hospital treating victims said the dead included a woman and a child. The blast left a huge crater in the road outside the office of the main police investigation agency, the Federal Investigation Agency, and destroyed the front of the building. The agency in Lahore has been attacked at least twice before.

Television showed pictures of a man covered in blood trapped in a car and passersby trying to help him out while rescuers searched through the rubble. Some angry residents shouted at police as they arrived at the scene in Lahore’s Model Town residential neighborhood.

Nadeem F. Paracha has written an excellent article on this incident and also on PML-N’s complicity in increasing jihadi and sectarian terrorism in the Punjab province. The article is provided below.

Wake up, Punjab

Another bomb attack in Lahore. What to expect from the PMLN government in the Punjab? Lip service condemning terrorism, of course. But, as usual, keeping in mind the Punjab government’s past record, the condemnation will be general and vague.

Even as the PPP-led coalition government in Islamabad will not hesitate to take names – they’ll point to the Taliban or the many sectarian organisations working as Al Qaeda’s foot soldiers – it is expected that the Punjab government under the PMLN will not.

Determining which forces are hell-bent on mutilating the country is not rocket science. But brace yourself (yet again) to be bombarded by the PMLN leadership and the usual intransigent suspects on TV channels talking generalised nonsense about terrorism and the ubiquitous ‘foreign hand,’ consequently drowning out the obvious involvement of any of the many extremist organisations running amok in Pakistan’s largest province.

But why the Punjab? Although it has been ravaged and broken by extremist terrorism for over two years now, political parties strong in the Punjab (such as the PMLN), the Punjabi-dominant electronic media, and fringe Punjab-based politicos such as Imran Khan have simply refused to acknowledge reality.

Still operating from the fanciful high pedestal of a superiority complex, a bulk of urban Punjab and its leadership continues to live in a stunning, air-tight state of denial.

Whereas in Karachi one can find a majority of common men and women unafraid to air their distaste for the extremists, and walls can be seen adorned with slogans such as ‘Taliban raj namanzoor’ (Taliban regime not acceptable), ‘Taliban sey hoshiar’ (beware of the Taliban), and, my favourite, a slogan found scribbled in a thick coat of black on a wall in a rundown lower-middle-class area of the city, ‘Mulla Omar dajjal’ (Mulla Omar the devil), one just cannot expect such voices and scenes in the Punjab, at least not in Lahore.

Why not? How can a province and a city (Lahore), devastated over and again and plunged into the depths of chaos and fear perpetrated by monsters such as the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the province’s many clandestine sectarian organisations, simply refuse to face its most ubiquitous tormenters and demons? Why the fearful silence by its people, and why the spin, the vagueness, and ultimate derailing of the issue by the electronic media?

Punjab is suffering. And it is not only from extremist terrorism. It is as if every time its leadership and people attempt to awkwardly repress the obvious lashings of fear and confusion that cut viciously across the province whenever there is a terrorist attack, they become more vocal in their condemnation of the present government at the centre, incredibly investing more emotional and intellectual energy on abstract issues such as corruption, judiciary, and ‘good governance’ through passionate displays of TV studio and drawing-room nobility, rather than directly tackling their greatest enemy.

Funny thing is, they would readily accuse the president of corruption and the US and India for having nefarious designs on Pakistan without offering an iota of evidence, but would get into a long navel-gazing exercise asking for proof of militant involvement in a terrorist attack.

Again, why? Why in the Punjab? Are the Sindhis and Karachiites more enlightened, liberal, moderate or whatever? Some of my most intelligent friends are from the Punjab, as was my father. And so I keep asking these friends, why isn’t the Punjab fighting back this menace of extremism? Why have most of this province’s brightest minds allowed themselves to be pushed in the background by this new breed of neoconservative ‘intellectuals’ in the shape of TV talk show hosts, ‘journalists,’ ‘analysts,’ et al?

I will continue by relating two small but relevant incidents that may help clarify what I am rambling about.

In a province that has been witnessing nauseating bloodshed perpetrated by those who have a painfully narrow view of Islam and are least hesitant to slaughter innocent men, women and children in their pursuit of both heaven and the shariah, one of the Punjab’s leading politicians and ministers did not find anything wrong in accompanying the leader of a banned sectarian organisation during a recent election campaign.

The minister was PMLN’s Rana Saifullah, who proudly stood beside a notorious leader of a banned sectarian organisation during a by-election rally in Jhang. This organisation openly sympathises with the Taliban.

Only in the Punjab can such an episode take place. Only in the Punjab can a minister can get away with holding hands with a myopic violent fanatic and, in the process, openly mocking and insulting the feelings of hundreds of Punjabis whose loved ones were brutally slaughtered by the extremists that the fanatic sympathises with. Only in the Punjab can his party then go around and ask for votes from the same people. Yes, only in the Punjab.

One can also mention a recent incident that involves Zaid Hamid to hit home the point I am trying to make.

Mr. Hamid, a hyperbolic TV personality who is an animated cross between a foaming televangelist and an impassionate right-wing drawing room revolutionary, has been on a ‘speaking tour’ of various colleges and universities of the country.

Known for openly holding (and advocating) gun-loving militarist hogwash, Hamid has turned distorting history and dishing out the most twisted conspiracy theories not only into an attractive art form, but a lucrative undertaking as well.

Hailed as a modern Saladin (of the armchair variety, I’m afraid) by his mostly urban, middle-class fans, and flogged as a hate-monger with links to the most rabidly anti-India and reactionary sections of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies by his many detractors, it has been very easy for Hamid to speak at Lahore’s private universities and colleges.

This included a visit to the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) that only two years ago was the scene of a lively students’ movement against the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf.

If the student body of the prestigious university found Musharraf’s action of dismissing a chief justice unbearable, I wonder what was so bearable about a man who is not only a self-claimed supporter of the ex-dictator, but also a proud war monger whose fans are famous of uttering insightful gems such as “if the Pakistan Army was really guilty of raping Bengali women in former East Pakistan, then they had every right to because Bengalis were traitors!”

Nonetheless, after smoothly completing his ‘Wake up, Pakistan’ speaking tour of Punjab’s campuses, Hamid and his entourage of trendy, designer reactionaries, made their way towards the country’s most ravaged province, the Pakhtunkhwa.

Faced by an insane spate of suicide and bomb attacks by extremists and the military’s war against the Taliban, the youth of the Pakhtunkwa province have shown great resolve to fight back. Student organisations in various state-run universities and colleges of the province have gone on to organise cultural functions that the extremists would term ‘haraam’ and ‘unIslamic.’

Just like the Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) in Balochistan, the Peoples Students Federation (PSF), and the All Pakistan Muttahidda Students Organisation (APMSO) in Sindh, students’ organizations of the Pakhtunkhwa have continued to fight a cultural war against extremism, even when a recent cultural function organised at a university by the BSO in Balochistan’s Khuzdar area was bombed by extremists.

So when Hamid and his army of patriots reached Peshawar University, he was confronted by loud groups of protesting students who wanted him banished from the campus.

The protest, perhaps the first of its kind faced by the likes of Hamid, was organised by the Peoples Students Federation (the student-wing of the Pakistan Peoples Party), the Pakhtun Students Federation (the student-wing of the Awami National Party), and the independent collection of liberal students under the Aman Tehreek umbrella. What’s more, also joining in the protest was the Islami Jamiat Taliba, a student organisation whose mother party, the Jamaat-i-Islami, ironically sympathises with the Taliban.

As the students threw stones at Hamid’s entourage and tried to chase him off the campus, the Aman Tehreek explained exactly why democratic student organisations had joined hands to throw him out.

“We have already suffered a lot due to the suicide bombers and militants and do not want people (in our city and campuses) who promote the extremists,” said an Aman Tehreek activist talking to Dawn.

In light of this example, it seems Punjab’s political leadership is out of sync with the prevailing psyche in Sindh, Balochistan, and the Pakhtunkhwa regarding Pakistan’s war against extremism.

The people and politicians of Punjab need to contemplate difficult questions before they can rid their province of the violence that it has had to face. More so, the confused mindset that is causing violence to be bred and sustained in the Punjab must be eliminated.

Source: Dawn

Pakistan against signing the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state

Pakistan against signing the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state

There appears to be a fundamental shift in the Pakistani position on the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, to which it had been chained for more than three decades. Simultaneously, Pakistan has made known that its reliance on nuclear weapons has increased and it would keep increasing its weapons number.

The revelation came through the Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman, Abdul Basit, who reportedly told Kyodo news agency last weekend that Pakistan has abandoned its historic position that it would sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a nuclear non-weapons State (NNWS) in case of India joining it so. When asked to spell out the new terms under which Pakistan would consider joining the NPT, Basit told the news agency that it would only join as a recognised nuclear weapons State (NWS). Further, Basit put the blame on the United States and other countries for destabilising the security environment in South Asia and thus forcing Pakistan to increase its dependence on nuclear weapons.

Explaining further, Basit said that Pakistan cannot give up nuclear weapons either. He said “if you have a conventional imbalance between Pakistan and India, then obviously our reliance on nuclear deterrence increases correspondingly”. The meaning is that Pakistan would enhance its capabilities and number of weapons as well.

Since 1967 when the NPT was being drafted and opened for signature, Pakistan has been maintaining that it would sign the NPT if India also signs the Treaty. Its position is the same with respect to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as well. The CTBT was opened for signature in 1996 but has not entered into force till date.

The remarks by Basit may not be seen in isolation. Pakistan has been greatly upset by the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement signed between the US and India and the subsequent waiver granted in 2008 by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to allow export of nuclear equipment and materials to Indian civil nuclear industry. India has subsequently concluded nuclear cooperation agreements with Russia, UK, France and Russia. Pakistan had been canvassing that the deal is discriminatory, that it would undermine the nuclear balance in South Asia and lead to an arms race. At the same time, several attempts were made to impress upon the US and other nuclear supplier countries that Pakistan is also facing severe power shortage, that it is planning to install a capacity of 8800 MWe by the year 2030, and hence it should also get a similar deal. Some experts are of the view that China might have concluded a nuclear deal with Pakistan and agreed to assist Pakistan in its quest for nuclear energy. The US has, however, made it categorical that it is not willing to consider a similar agreement with Pakistan. The dismal nuclear proliferation track record of Pakistan was also cited in this regard.

There are ample indications that Pakistan has not given up its hopes for a civil nuclear cooperation deal with the US and de facto recognition as a nuclear weapons State. During the recent visit of Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, Islamabad reportedly urged him that the US should conclude a nuclear cooperation agreement with Pakistan and to recognise it as a nuclear weapons State.

The recent Pakistani objection to the adoption of the agenda at the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva – it would not accept a treaty which only bans future production of nuclear fissile materials, and it is linkling this issue with disparity in conventional weapons in South Asia including in the field of missiles – gives clear indications about the changed Pakistani thinking.

Pakistan is aware that there is a growing gap with India as far as the defence and military capabilities are concerned and it is trying to bridge the gap by increasing its dependence on nuclear weapons. It is well known that Pakistan is engaged in the construction of two plutonium production reactors, a facility to build reactor fuel, and a reprocessing facility to enhance its nuclear capabilities. One reactor is expected to begin operations in 2010.

Pakistan might have come to terms with the reality that there is no chance that India would join the NPT as a non-weapons State, especially after the Indo-US nuclear agreement/NSG clearance. The only option, though remote and most cumbersome, is of India joining the NPT as a weapons State. In any case, the NPT has to be amended if any modifications to the Treaty were to be considered, which is very unlikely. With four of the five weapons States having finalised their nuclear agreements with India on enhancing civil nuclear cooperation, Pakistan seems to have decided that it is best to press the US and others to accord it a similar deal while at the same time advocating that it is willing to join NPT as a weapons State and pursuing its weapons programme unabated.

Quake Kills Dozens in Turkey

Quake Kills Dozens in Turkey


ISTANBUL — At least 51 people died when an earthquake of 6.0 magnitude struck a village and outlying areas near the town of Elazig in eastern Turkey early on Monday, officials in the region said.

The village, Okcular, was largely destroyed, and rescue workers struggled to free a handful of survivors, the officials added. A second quake with a 5.6 magnitude hit the same area after a series of some 40 aftershocks.

According to Turkey’s Kandilli earthquake observatory, the epicenter of the quake, which struck three miles underground at 4:32 a.m. local time, was Basyurt-Karakocan, 61 miles from Elazig, rocking the region for almost a minute.

“Our citizens lost their lives in five villages,” Muammer Erol, the Elazig governor, told NTV, a private news broadcaster. “Rescue teams are working to save four people that are claimed to be stuck under debris.”

More than 70 survivors were treated for injuries in nearby hospitals, according to the governor’s office.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials headed to Elazig on Monday to inspect the damage, the semiofficial Anatolian News Agency reported.

Straddling fault lines, Turkey is no stranger to earthquakes, and death tolls are sometimes high as buildings collapse into themselves because of inadequate official controls on construction standards. In Bingol, another eastern town, a quake with a magnitude of 6.7 killed 176 people in May 2003.

Almost 20,000 people died during two earthquakes in the Marmara region in western Turkey in 1999 — the highest death toll in decades.

“The important thing is to train local construction workers on methods to build earthquake-resistant buildings without giving up locally available construction materials,” Miktad Kadioglu, professor of meteorology and head of the crisis management center at Istanbul Technical University, told NTV.

Unidentified Gunmen Erase Another Pakistan Taliban commander

Gunmen kill local Pakistan Taliban commander: officials

(AFP) – 18 hours ago

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Gunmen killed a local Taliban commander in Pakistan’s rugged northwest tribal region, officials said Sunday, a day after reports of the deaths of other senior Islamist leaders.

Pakistan’s military is locked in a number of offensives against Islamist extremists across swathes of the northwest, and officials say they are making inroads into the militant strongholds and rounding up key insurgents.

But unknown assailants killed Maulvi Noor Mohammad, a local Taliban commander in lawless North Waziristan, on the outskirts of Miranshah, the main town in the restive district.

“Unknown gunmen opened fire on local Taliban commander Maulvi Noor Mohammad outside a residence of his relatives on the outskirts of Miranshah on Friday. They later escaped,” local official Khadim Ali said.

An intelligence official also confirmed the killing, but said the number of gunmen and the motive behind the attack was not yet clear.

It was the latest in a number of reports — almost impossible to confirm independently — of the deaths of mid-level and senior Taliban figures.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik had on Saturday said it was likely that Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, deputy of umbrella militant group the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), was killed in an air strike in Mohmand tribal district.

Malik said it would be “a miracle” if Mohammad and another militant commander, Qari Ziaur Rehman, survived the strike on Friday, but stopped short of confirming the two deaths until the recovery of the bodies.

Mohammad, a battle-hardened former teacher, had in August claimed temporary leadership of the TTP after the death in a US drone strike of top militant chief Baitullah Mehsud.

Mehsud was eventually succeeded by Hakimullah Mehsud, who himself is reported to have been killed in another US strike in January this year.

Malik also Saturday confirmed the death of a Swat Taliban commander, Fateh Mohammad, in the Mohmand strike.

Elsewhere in the northwest tribal belt on Sunday, the decapitated body of a local tribal elder was found in Orakzai region, official Fazal-e-Qadir said. The elder had been missing for 11 days.

Washington brands Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt the most dangerous region on Earth, and Pakistan’s military has in the past year launched a number of offensives in the area to try and dismantle the militant strongholds.

Taliban Strike Pak Intelligence In Lahore

Pakistan suicide bomb attack kills 11 in Lahore

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At least 11 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore, police say.

More than 60 others were injured when an explosives-laden car targeted a building housing an anti-terrorist wing of the federal investigative agency.

The amount of explosives was so large it brought down the two-storey building, correspondents say.

Close to the country’s border with India, Lahore has been hit several times by militants over the past year.

Pakistan’s government condemned the attack, blaming “hired killers who want to destabilise Pakistan”.

‘Total chaos’

The police said that the blast had taken place at a building housing the offices of the Special Investigation Group, an anti-terrorism wing of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the Model Town area of Lahore.

Rescuers at the site of the Lahore blast, 08 March

The amount of explosives brought down a two-storey building

A nearby religious school was also damaged.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool in Islamabad says the emergency services are working to free those trapped under the rubble.

Passers by, including children on their way to school, were said to be among the dead and injured.

Lahore police chief Pervaiz Rathore told reporters: “It was a suicide attack. We have heard that 40 to 50 people were in the [investigation agency] building when the incident happened. Rescue work is in progress.”

He said the targeted office was used to interrogate “important suspects” but there were no such suspects inside during the attack.

The top administration official in Lahore, Khusro Pervez, said he feared the death toll would rise.

Eyewitness Noorul Huda, a student at a religious school, said he was in class when an explosion shook the area.

Map of Pakistan
3 March 2009: Gunmen kill six police guards in an ambush on the Sri Lanka cricket team
30 March 2009: Gunmen attack a police academy, killing eight people
27 May 2009: A car bomb attack on police buildings kills at least 23

“With the huge bang, blocks and pieces of the roof fell upon us and six of us were wounded,” he said.

“It was total chaos outside and people were running and crying for help.”

One resident, Mohammad Musharraf, told Associated Press that locals had urged the authorities to move the anti-terrorism unit as they feared it would be targeted.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik, quoted by Agence France-Presse news agency, blamed the Pakistan Taliban for the attack.

“In almost every blast there has been [Pakistan Taliban] involvement and they themselves have also claimed responsibility for attacks,” he said.

“The ammunition and weapons are coming from Afghanistan.”

Pakistan recently stepped up its drive against the Taliban leadership, arresting its second most senior commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

A number of other top figures are also reported to have been arrested this year.

Mr Malik said Monday’s attack was an act of desperation by a group of militants whose “backs have been broken” by the military.

FIA offices in Lahore have been the target of two suicide attacks in recent years. More than 26 people died in those attacks.

There have been a number of other explosions in Lahore over the past year.

Last December, two bomb blasts at a busy market killed at least 48 people and injured more than 100.