Gas tanker explodes in Mexico City, killing 19 people

Mexico explosion

Burned cars are pictured in a highway in Ecatepec near Mexico city. A gas tanker exploded in a Mexico City suburb, killing at least 18 people and damaging several homes and cars. Picture: Victor Rojas Source: AFP

 

A GAS tanker has exploded in a Mexico City suburb, killing at least 19 people, wounding dozens more and setting cars and buildings on fire.

 

The blast rocked a neighbourhood of Ecatepec, north of the Mexican capital, in the early hours of Tuesday, injuring at least 36 people while affecting 15 cars and 27 homes, the mayor and a Mexico state official said.

Nearby buildings, cars and trucks burst into flames out when the tanker exploded before sunrise in the community of San Pedro Xalostoc, which is part of the municipality of Ecatepec and is home to a 16th century church.

Later, television images showed the charred remains of vehicles on a highway, road cement barriers thrown to the side and smoke billowing from buildings.

The truck was travelling on a highway linking Mexico City to the central city of Pachuca when it exploded at around 5.30am (8.30pm AEST). The cistern apparently slid off its support when the accident happened.

 

The roads of the metropolis are notoriously congested and can be busy before dawn as commuters head to work in the city.

“Unfortunately, 27 homes have been affected and 19 people died,” Ecatepec Mayor Pablo Bedolla wrote on Twitter, adding that authorities were giving “all the support to Ecatepec families”.

Mexico explosion

Burned cars are pictured in a highway in Ecatepec near Mexico city. A gas tanker exploded in a Mexico City suburb, killing at least 18 people and damaging several homes and cars. Picture: Victor Rojas

Officials initially said nine people had died and 13 were wounded.

Mexico state public safety secretary Salvador Neme reported 36 injured. The wounded were taken to hospitals and 13 of them were in serious condition, he told Milenio television.

A command centre was being set up at the scene of the accident to tend to the residents of the area.

It is the latest deadly gas or oil accident to rattle Mexico.

On January 31, a gas build-up sparked a huge explosion in the Mexico City headquarters of state-owned energy giant Pemex, killing 37 people and injuring more than 120.

In September, a huge explosion killed 30 people at a gas facility near the US border.

In December 2010, an oil pipeline exploded after it was tapped by thieves in the central town of San Martin Texmelucan, leaving 29 people dead and more than 50 injured.

Earlier, in October 2007, 21 Pemex workers died during a gas leak on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Most drowned when they jumped into the sea in panic.

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Israel’s Secret Alliance with The Persian Gulf’s Arab States Against Iran

Israel’s Secret Alliance with The Persian Gulf’s Arab States Against Iran

Since Saddam Hussein’s Invasion of Kuwait, GCC states have collectively established a strong alliance with Israel. This alliance is currently focused on the destruction of Iran and the elimination of Iranian influence throughout the Middle East (and Central Asia). Both Israel and GCC countries are scared livid of the Iranian regime, its influence in their states and are therefore necessarily committed to this common goal. But this is a strategic mistake – for both GCC states and Israel. They have confused Iran’s regime with ordinary Iranians. Their beef is with the Mullahs NOT Iranians. This is a strategic blunder.

The Palestinian Factor

For decades Israel and the ‘whole’ Arab world were blood enemies.  Arab league members provided over $250 Million in funds to support the Palestinians since the ‘60s, and successfully organized an embargo with their oil supplies in the 1970’s to place pressure on Israel (and its allies: US and Europe).

But, in 1990, there was a tidal shift in alliances. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Yasser Arafat (then PLO Chairman) came out and publicly supported Hussein; and Kuwait’s Palestinian population rose in support of the Iraqis during the invasion.  And not long after the U.S. led liberation, the Kuwaitis expelled 450,000 Palestinians.  The Palestinian population in these booming Persian “Gulf Arab” states has now dwindled by about 90% since 1990, replaced by Pakistanis and Filipinos.

Kuwait’s allies: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and other Persian Gulf Monarchs or Sheikhdoms or dictators (depending on your point of view) have rationalized that Palestinians were and still are a national security risk and should not be trusted – nor supported.

Payback against Saddam Hussein did not take long. Ironically, Saddam Hussein who was once supported to the tune of billions of dollars by these same states in his war with Iran was also in their cross hairs. And within a decade, or so the U.S. stationed itself in Qatar, and transported troops through Kuwait to decimate his regime. Hussein had not only failed to follow to destroy Iran, but had turned against them!

In politics it seems – the enemy of my enemy is my friend!  In fact, the opening with Israel came on the heels of the Madrid Conference in 1991 that contributed to the countries’ official, rapprochement with Israel. Most of the ‘brokerage’ in these relationships has developed through close relations with Jewish organizations in the United States. There is now an odd sense of solidarity arising out of the knowledge that Iraqi Scud missiles had fallen on both Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

In 1994, the GCC canceled its boycott of companies and countries that maintained economic ties with Israel. In 2005 the same Gulf States announced normalization measures with Israel. The Bahraini foreign minister confirmed that his country had decided to cancel the boycott of Israeli goods, and the Qatari foreign minister called on Arab nations “to respond positively to the step taken by Israel.” He noted that “full diplomatic relations between Qatar and Israel may be possible even before a comprehensive Israeli withdrawal from the territories.”

And while this decade long strategic shift was occurring, the British government sold its stake in BP basically to a combination of Jewish Bankers (Rothschilds Holdings 39%) and Gulf State Investment Organizations like for example the Kuwait Investment Organization  (21.6% by 2005). BP now, is basically an arm of these states, while employing and banking primarily British executives and banks.

And Israel’s government, for its part is enabling Israeli companies to indirectly contribute to the security of these dictatorships through training of local armed forces and by offering advanced (homeland security-related) advanced products, as long as they are perceived not to harm Israel’s strategic competitive advantage. Israel already has access to markets in the Gulf; the boycott is not applied if the products do not carry an Israeli label.

Israel’s covert relations with the United Arab Emirates were partially exposed by the late-November 2010 leak of diplomatic cables by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks that uncovered the “secret and persistent dialogue” between the two countries.

There are numerous formal and informal visits between the nations (and with Turkey among the crowd). Whether or not there are formal relations, i.e. embassies, it’s very clear that there is a strong alliance in place. Israelis and Sheikhdoms are ONE.

The Iran Factor

Iran’s Mullahs have long been an adversary to these Arab dictators. It is not clear why? It is true that Shiites comprise the majority of the populations in most of this region – including Saudi Arabia’s oil rich Eastern provinces. Democratic reforms, in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain …you name it…would result in Shiite led majorities, just like Iraq. There is real fear in these ruling Arab elites when it comes to ‘democratic reforms’.  But what exactly the Mullahs did to deserve this status is unclear? Yes, Iran did bomb Kuwaiti tankers – but that was during the war when Kuwait was exporting Iraqi oil…and Iraq had just bombed Iranian oil installations. And okay, there is a territorial dispute over islands in the Persian Gulf. So what??

What is strange for me is that there is frequent intermarriage, migration, bilingualism, and commerce between Iranians and many of these GCC states and citizens. Indeed besides the indigenous Shiite populations in the states around the Persian Gulf, there are over 400,000 Iranians residing in places like Dubai, roughly one third of its urban population…performing core functions in the area. Iranians, (the people of Iran), are a huge regional asset.

Despite all this, in recent years what has tied the Gulf states to Israel more than anything else is their ever-growing mutual fear of Iran. Israel today, represents the enemy of not only the Palestinians but also Iran’s Mullahs. An alliance between these “(Persian) Gulf Arab” states and Israel has been established with a clear objective of undermining Iranian influence and “suppressing” Palestinian ambitions.

According to Wikileaks published US State Department cable, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, repeatedly implored Washington to target the Iranian nuclear sites—in his words: to “cut off the head of the snake while there was still time.”

It is an open secret that these Gulf countries maintain contacts with Israel—mainly through the sharing of intelligence. In the summer of 2010 it was again reported (although the reliability of these claims is uncertain) that Saudi Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs V : 1 (2011)   Arabia would allow Israeli warplanes to use its airspace in the event of an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. Israeli military gear was even delivered to Saudi Arabia in preparation for an eventual attack on Iran.

Sami al Faraj, president of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies and a consultant to Kuwait and other GCC states, said recently that the “GCC states have been engaged in consultations and intelligence exchange with Israel, particularly regarding the Iranian threat.” Indeed, in the eyes of Arab rulers of the Gulf, it may seem that Israel can be vital to Gulf security, as the US is now leaving Iraq and Afghanistan.

Containing Iran’s quest for what is viewed as a ‘hegemonic role’ in the Persian Gulf is the main concern of the Arab monarchies, committed as they are to the preservation of their regimes. After the Islamic Revolution, terror and subversion became Tehran’s primary means of enforcing its regional policy and boosting its influence. In most cases, as with the covert Iranian “sleeper cell” uncovered in Kuwait (with links to Bahrain) in April 2010, it was hard to prove Iranian involvement; thus, Iran can deny any connection to such activity, while maintaining open diplomatic relations with the Gulf states it is covertly targeting.

On the one hand, the Mullahs have conveyed that they see themselves as partners for all Gulf States. On the other, their actions have been hardly reassuring on the western side of the Gulf. Iran has questioned the legitimacy of regimes, explicitly threatened to shut the straits of Hormuz, and to target strategic facilities in the Gulf States. It has conducted ominous military maneuvers and played a negative role in events in Iraq and Yemen. Moreover, Iran has occupied what the GCC consider to be their land (Abu Musa and the Tunb Islands). The Mullahs even went so far as to declare Bahrain as the fourteenth district of Iran (reminiscent of Saddam Hussein’s rhetoric regarding Kuwait).

For their part, the GCC governments recognize the difficulties facing the international community in stopping Iran on its way to nuclear weapons capability and want to avoid angering their increasingly powerful neighbor—and prefer to do what is necessary behind the scenes – indirectly if you will. Netenyahu’s brazen verbal attack on Iran is heralded by its ‘tacit allies’ and further amplified on Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV throughout the Middle East during peak viewing periods.

There is a genuine concern that an Iranian bomb will enable the Mullahs to set the future political, economic, and strategic agenda in the region. Similar concerns stem from the possible outcome of an Israeli and/or American military operation aimed at thwarting Iran’s nuclear capability, namely, a massive and widespread Iranian retaliation. Although GCC countries support a ‘comprehensive’ diplomatic solution to the crisis with Iran, they fear it will be at the expense of their interests and result in American recognition of Iran’s dominance in the Gulf.

Today’s Proxy Wars

In the absence of an overt war, Israel and its Arab allies have decided to fight Iran’s mullahs by proxy. The overall plan is to ‘contain’ Iran – i.e. surround Iran while ensuring Iran’s economy is held back with sanctioning. This is a systematic policy of weakening Iran and sucking Iranian blood. Meanwhile, of course they (and their surrogates) are running off with Iran’s treasure in the Caspian Sea and limiting Iranian oil and gas exports in favor of their own exports. In addition, sanctions have served to enable GCC countries to act as trading points for ‘sanction busting’ – reselling sanctioned goods to Iran at inflated prices and essentially profiting from Iran’s demise.

Interestingly, Israel and GCC states enjoy excellent relations with Azerbaijan. And BP, their joint prime investment vehicle, owns (and operates) the key oil pipeline across Azerbaijan and is the major operator of oil and gas platforms in the Caspian Sea (in what is actually Iranian water).

It is reported that Israel has a number of air bases inside Azerbaijan, with fighter jets ready for orders to attack Iran at any time. Azerbaijan now also is tacitly supporting Azeri separatists inside Iran.

GCC states have begun funding Al-Ahwazi separatists and Jundallah (Baluchi) separatists. While Israel too, has been funding Kurdish separatists.

But the clearest expression of this proxy effort is in Syria. I will grant you that the Syrian affair is much more than a proxy fight with Iran. Yes, both Israel and GCC states (like Qatar) have a clear objective of running major gas pipelines across Syria (and Lebanon too) to the Turkey to export their newly discovered resources. And yes, Turkey too has partnered with them and built the Nabucco pipeline to Europe with 40% excess capacity with this objective in mind.

What apparently started as a legitimate attempt to join the Arab spring and fight for democratic rights in Syria has transpired into a mercenary led ‘civil war’, with considerable entry of ‘foreign fighters’ in the fray. The Syrian government recently handed a list of names of citizens from 19 countries accused of joining Syria’s rebels: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Chad, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen and Chechnya. Since Chechnya is not a country, but a republic of the Russian Federation, the list likely contains names of Russian citizens…too. According to CNN reports, the strangest part of all of these fighters is that Jabhat al-Nusra — the radical Islamic group that has become the opposition’s best fighting force. The lead author of a new analysis of the group, which is backed by al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), told CNN that al-Nusra now has 5,000 fighters and is willing to watch Syria burn to secure an al-Qaeda foothold in the region!

In July, Dutch photo journalist Jeroen Oerlemans and British photographer John Cantlie were captured and held hostage in Syria for a week by rebel militants. They claimed that several of their captors spoke English with recognizable regional British accents, like Birmingham and London. And in August, Syrian rebel commanders reportedly became concerned over the numbers of hardline Islamists entering Syria from other Muslim-majority countries.

Beyond these proxy wars, there is clear indication that a direct war may in fact be in the cards. This past year, both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have opened new pipelines bypassing the Strait of Hormuz.  The new links more than double the total pipeline capacity bypassing the strait to 6.5m barrels a day, or about 40 per cent of the 17m b/d that transits Hormuz. GCC states are clearly preparing for a conflict, although their preparations are NOT yet complete. Interestingly, Iraq too has a pipeline across Saudi Arabia to al Muajiz on the Red Sea to deliver its oil and by pass the Persian Gulf. One fascinating fact is that Saudi Arabia’s Al Muajiz Port on the Red Sea was developed for a total shipping capacity of 10 Million barrels a day!

A Major Strategic Blunder

The problem with this complete strategic realignment is that core populations of these GCC states are inherently pan-Arabist. Which means that once the ‘people’ of these states figure out that there is an ‘overt’ realignment between their leaders and Israel, there is the potential for a massive back-clash domestically. This could be further fueled by natural ‘Arab Spring” type democratic yearnings among the populations of these GCC states – and not only might there be a massive shift in government in the GCC states, but Israel too risks losing partners that it has invested heavily in.

Secondly, an overt war with Iran would only accelerate the demise of these regimes – not sustain them. The deal so far with their suppressed populations has been to exchange economic gains for political gains. If war breaks out there will naturally be rationing and military drafts. This sort of instability will only make them further vulnerable.

Thirdly, I believe a calculation that makes Iran their enemy is fundamentally flawed. The Mullahs in Tehran do not represent Iran or Iranians. In fact the Mullahs in Iran are enemies of Iranians too. In fact most Iranians see the Mullahs as ‘Arabs’ i.e. imposed on Iran; and indeed many senior regime leaders were born in Iraq – not even Iran.

These sheikhs need to remember that Iran’s current role in the region is a derivative of wars ‘started’ by GCC states – not Iranian aggression.  Remember, Saddam Hussein invaded Iran – with support, encouragement and financial backing from GCC states. The minutes of his meetings with King Fahd in Egypt is now public record. The loan balances Iraq had to GCC states is also public record that came out as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. You can’t hide it. And any insecurity these monarchs feel from the legitimate demands of their populations should NOT be confused with Iranian meddling.  Iranians have become a scapegoat – when the real problems are elsewhere. Iranians did NOT put the Mullahs in power – the West did. That is public record too.

Fourthly, Iran (especially after the war with Iraq and two neighboring wars) has now developed a formidable defense establishment, and its own (in house) weapon systems. This strategic posture cold provoke an outright war, and just like the war with Iraq – there is a real possibility that the GCC states could come out on the short end of their own stick. After two years of a proxy war versus Iran in Syria, there is no clear conclusion. Assad remains in power. The joint Israeli/GCC/Turkey plan is to then extend the war to Lebanon and then Iran. But what if the GCC states get ‘stuck’ in Syria? Have they succeeded? Will the west come to the rescue again? Or let’s put it another way, is there a vital strategic interest in Syria that the U.S. must defend? Will the U.S. risk bankruptcy for Syria? I doubt it.

The truth is, that while this all seemed like a good idea (and everyone was angry at Saddam Hussein the Palestinians) it may not be a great idea today. Once one domino starts to fall through a public uprising for democracy – with ‘no’ push from Iran (May I add, there are many radical actors in the Middle East – Hamas, Hizbullah, al Qaeda, you name it…) – in any single one of these GCC countries, all these Sheikhs, or Monarchs or Dictators could all fall. This is something they need to learn from the former “Shah of Iran” – who had grandiose strategic ideas but did not establish a strong domestic political infrastructure that was vitally necessary to carry out his ambitions.  The Sheikhs need to understand that they can do NOTHING without the heartfelt support of their citizens.

These GCC countries need to understand what their core strategic interest is. Does Iran represent a strategic threat? If so, why? And does that mean that GCC states need to align with Israel?

I would argue that it is in the “world’s” national interest to topple the regime in Iran – but not do anything to alienate the people of Iran or cause division among Iranians. That to the extent GCC states can be aligned with Israel or indeed any other country (Indonesia, Brazil etc.) to topple the regime in Tehran – that this would a fundamental strategic win for everyone. But beyond that any permanent alliance with Israel will be counterproductive to their interests and stability. This is not meant as a negative statement about Israel, it’s just a strategic reality. Israel has nothing to offer these regimes except exposure to radical forces. (Look at who they are partnering with in Syria?) And in fact Qatar could have pumped its natural gas across Syria – even without a proxy war in Syria or the balkanization of Syria, or the death of 60,000 Syrians. When the dust settles on all this, it will not be pretty. There were other ways to bring democracy to Syria without arming these sorts of rebels and radicals.

In fact, the most vital strategic ally every GCC state can have is a transformed Iranian government – their neighbor – that can police the neighborhood with them and help them make democratic transitions without a great deal of pain. Petty fights over small deserted islands, or sectarian considerations should not distract quality strategic thinking. Iran can offer them a huge market, can offer them regional stability, and also access to even bigger markets in Central Asia. Israel on the other hand is a strategic liability. So what if the Jewish lobby in Europe or the U.S. is helping them get access to cable TV distribution, and helping them buy soccer (football) teams – how is that of value to the people (the actual citizens) of GCC states? The Sheikhs are being shaked down for cash, buying over-priced assets.  There is no real strategic, sustainable gain in getting VIP seats to major games.

It is true that before the West toppled the Shah, Britain persuaded America to align strategically with it and invest in Alaskan Oil while Britain exploited North Sea oil – both of which were expensive to extract, AND needed sustained high oil prices. Toppling the Shah also meant shutting off Iran’s exports for over 10 years! Today, America is being ‘pushed’ into becoming an energy ‘power house’ with net energy exports for the first time in over 30 years. But it is a mistake to believe that this will result in a strategic realignment. The Obama administration so far has refused to ‘play’ in Syria in concert with Israel, Turkey or the GCC. And the Obama administration is focused on ‘reducing imports’ NOT maximizing exports i.e. reducing America’s oil dependency. The GCC is mistaken if they believe “Saudi-Americanization” will shift U.S. policy. And if the GCC are really shrewd, they will notice that in fact the U.S. has been protecting Iran’s Mullahs – not undermining them…and vice-a-versa. Iran today lists Iraq and Afghanistan as major export clients (both dominated by the U.S. military, while apparently there are global sanctions on Iran). The Mullahs are an expression of U.S. foreign policy.

What do these Sheikhs really have to show for all the money they have invested in the West? Indeed, governments in the West view them as great candidates for hosing, and use all these opportunities to sell the Sheikhs billions of dollars of inflated priced arms – and junk government bonds to undermine their own domestic spending. They are being hosed. They are the ones being used…by Israel and the West!

And they have to face it, democratic yearnings in the region are unstoppable. The Mullahs will fall, and their dictatorships are at risk (and it is not because of Iran). These dictators can become Monarchs like the Queen of England – even if there are a ton of Catholics in Britain!

There is a better path to peace, stability and prosperity – they need to see it – but their strategic calculations are completely wrong.

Zio-Qatari Sheikh Wants To Set-Up Shop In Israel

Qatari Sheikh Said to Want to Visit Israel on Business

Wall St. Journal

By Joshua Mitnick

Eyebrows went up in Israel’s business community this week when a prominent Israeli business leader said that a top Qatari businessman and member of the royal family is mulling a visit to Jerusalem later this year to boost Israeli-Palestinian commercial ties.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, who heads the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a staunch ally of Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, said he wants to attend the inauguration of an arbitration court for businesses disputes between Israelis and Palestinians, according to Oren Shachor, the head of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce and a former general in the Israeli military, who met Sheikh Khalifa in Doha last week.

Word of the possible visit first appeared in the daily newspaper Israel Hayom earlier this week, which quoted Mr. Shachor as saying that Qataris were interested in investing “hundreds of millions of dollars” in hi-tech and considered Israeli firms candidates for acquisitions. The item was later picked up by other news outlets.

“He spoke about coming and participating in the launch in East Jerusalem,’’ said Mr. Shachor, who has spearheaded the establishment of the arbitration court with Palestinian billionaire Munib Masri, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s an opening to a dialogue – definitely on economic issues, and possibility on diplomatic issues.’’

Several attempts to reach Sheikh Khalifa over the past two days for comment were unsuccessful.  A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said he was unaware of such a possibility.

Should it happen, such a trip would mark the highest ranking visit by a Persian Gulf royal to territory under Israeli sovereignty and send political ripples throughout the region.

Though the Jewish state is usually eager to promote any sort of public sign of normalization with the Arab world, relations between the two countries have been on a downward trajectory in recent years.

The Emir has been a top regional ally of Hamas, and shut down Israel’s trade office in Qatar in 2009 to protest Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, a retaliation to Hamas rocket strikes. The nadir came at the end of 2012, when he annoyed Israeli leaders by becoming the first head of state to visit the Gaza Strip under Hamas control to announce hundreds of millions of dollars worth of infrastructure projects.

At the same time, the real estate arm of Qatar’s Sovereign Wealth Fund is investing more than a half billion dollars in the construction of the Rawabi housing development, a massive West Bank project that has created 3,000 jobs. Just last month, The Qatari emir called for a $1 billion Arab fund to help Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Years ago the Qatar government made a more modest contribution inside Israel when it chipped in on a publicly funded soccer stadium for the Israeli Arab Team Bnei Sakhnin, after they won Israel’s state cup in 2004.

And, earlier this week, Qatar’s Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber Al Thani said in Washington that the Arab League supported a peace deal that would include territorial swaps – indirect recognition that some Israeli settlements build in the West Bank could be annexed to Israel.

The two countries might have overlapping interests in the outcome of the Syrian civil war. Qatar has also been a major ally of the U.S. in pushing for the replacement President Bashar Assad.

Mr. Shachor said the Israeli commercial delegation got a “warm and friendly’’ reception in Doha, the site of last week’s World Chamber of Commerce convention. He said he met with Sheikh Khalifa on the sidelines after making a presentation about the arbitration court – a joint venture with the Palestinian chamber of commerce that will be under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Dubbed the “Jerusalem Arbitration Center,’’ the court will have Palestinian, Israeli and international experts in arbitration and law. The idea behind the court is to give Israeli and Palestinian businessmen peace of mind that they can adjudicate cross-border dispute in a neutral forum and hopefully expand their $4 billion in annual trade. The court will be chaired by Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, a Turkish business leader close to Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

The plan got an enthusiastic response from the Qatari royal, who said that he wanted to attend the November launch, according to Mr. Shachor.

“He said, `I can tell you that I want to come, but sometimes surprises happen. Barring that, I promise to come,’’’ Mr. Shachor said.

An Israeli foreign ministry official expressed caution, noting that the government hasn’t been informed of any such plan by Qatar, and that Israelis have often talked about plans for cooperation and normalization with Arab states that don’t come to fruition.

Pakistani Taliban Bomb 2nd JUI Rally In Two Days Claiming the Pseudo-Islamists Are American Agents

 

Bomb blast kills 14 at pro-Taliban party rally in Pakistan, official says

foxnews

By

Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility hours after an attack on a pro-Taliban political party in the semiautonomous tribal area of Kurram Agency that left 14 people dead.

The Taliban, told Fox News in an email, “We attacked Munir Orakzai because of the crimes he committed against Islam and Mujahideen,” and they vowed to kill Orakzai and never to forgive him.

Taliban claim that the anti-U.S. leader Orakzai of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam religious political party is an American agent who handed over dozens of Arab fighters to the U.S. currently imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay prison and worked with pro-American parties in Pakistan who shed the blood of innocent tribesmen.

Javed Khan, a government administrator in the Kurram tribal region where the bombing took place, told the Associated Press that Monday’s attack also wounded 50 people.

He says the bomb was apparently planted near the main stage of the rally, and two party leaders escaped unhurt.

The Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam party is considered supportive of the Afghan Taliban’s fight against the United States and its allies. It’s also sympathetic to the Pakistani Taliban.

The Taliban have in recent weeks attacked secular Pakistani parties. Elections are to be held on Saturday amid tight security after a string of militant attacks that have left several dozen people dead.

Pakistan Pre-Election Terrorist Attacks Primarily Target Moderate and Pseudo-Islamists: A Timeline

Pakistan Terrorist Attacks Before General Elections: A Timeline

BLOOMBERG

By Faseeh Mangi

Following is a list of terrorist attacks before the general elections scheduled for May 11. At least 89 people have been killed and 418 injured since violence began last month.

May 6: An explosion at a public gathering of religious party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam kills 15 people and injures 47 in the tribal area of Kurram Agency.

May 6: An explosion near the car of election candidate Abdul Malik in Baluchistan injures two.

May 6: An election office of Pakistan Peoples’ Party is blown up in Charsadda district of northern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

May 6: Independent candidate Mir Iqbal Zehri escapes unhurt from a hand grenade attack on his convoy in Mastung district of western province Baluchistan.

May 6: Three polling stations in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province are blown up using time bombs.

May 5: Independent candidate Sarfaraz Domki’s convoy is attacked in Sibi, Baluchistan. Two security guards are killed.

May 5: An explosion near the office of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam in Quetta left two workers injured.

May 5: A hand grenade is hurled at a corner meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Mardan, injuring at least three people.

May 4: Two explosions take place near the headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Karachi, killing two and injuring 35 people.

May 3: Awami National Party candidate Sadiq Zaman Khattak and his six-year-old son are shot dead outside a mosque.

May 2: A bomb explosion at a mosque adjacent to an office of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaves at least nine people injured in Karachi.

May 2: Two schools designated as polling stations are blown up in the Naseerabad district of the western province of Baluchistan.

May 1: A suicide bomber blows himself up near the bulletproof vehicle of election candidate Mohammad Ibrahim Jatoi of National People’s Party in the southern province of Sindh, damaging the car and injuring three people.

May 1: Rockets are fired from nearby mountains at a gathering of political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl in the southwestern city of Quetta, injuring four in the stampede after the attack.

May 1: Militants hurl a grenade at the election office of candidate Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz in Quetta, injuring four workers.

April 30: Abdul Fatah, independent candidate from Baluchistan, and two others are shot dead and two people are injured in Jhal Magsi after an exchange of fire with unidentified armed men.

April 29: A bomb explodes near an election office of the Awami National Party in Charsadda, killing one person and injuring 15.

April 29: A suicide bomber blows himself up near a bus stand in Peshawar, killing 9 and injuring 43. Two employees of the Afghan consulate are among the dead.

April 28: A bomb strapped to a bicycle explodes outside the office of independent candidate Nasir Khan Afridi in Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, killing three and injuring 20.

April 28: An election convoy of Awami National Party is targeted with a remote-controlled bomb, leaving one dead and 13 injured in Swabi, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

April 28: A bomb explodes near election offices of Khursheed Begum from the Awami National Party and independent candidate Noor Akbar Khan in Kohat town of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, killing five and injuring 23.

April 27: Awami National Party’s local leader Ghazi Gul is shot dead by gunmen near his residence in Karachi.

April 27: Two attacks within minutes of each other near Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s office in Karachi leave at least three dead and 27 injured.

April 27: A bomb explodes at a corner meeting of Pakistan Peoples’ Party in Karachi killing at least two and injuring 15.

April 26: A bomb attack on an election rally in Pakistan’s commercial hub of Karachi kills nine people and injures 24. Attack targets Awami National Party election candidate Bashir Jan.

April 26: Hand grenades are hurled and rockets fired at a rally of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) party in Bolan district, Baluchistan.

April 25: Bomb fitted into motorcycle explodes in front of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s office in Karachi, killing 6 and injuring 8.

April 25: A hand grenade is hurled at the election office of Pakistan Peoples’ Party in Nushki, Baluchistan, injuring two people.

April 24: Five bombings in the southwestern city of Quetta in two days kill six and injure 52.

April 23: Bomb attack in Karachi near a roadside camp of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement kills 2 and hurts 15.

April 23: Pakistani police find a car packed with explosives near the Islamabad residence of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, where he is being kept under house arrest.

April 17: Awami National Party’s Farooq Khan escapes unhurt after a bomb blast targeted his vehicle in the northwestern city of Charsadda.

April 16: A bomb blast near a political rally for the Awami National Party in Peshawar kills at least eight people and injures 40.

April 16: A roadside bomb targeting a regional chief from former premier Nawaz Sharif’s party kills at least four, including the son and brother of Baluchistan provincial president Sardar Sanaullah Zehri.

April 14: Syed Masoom Shah, an election candidate of the Awami National Party, is injured along with three other people in a blast at a rally in Charsadda. In another incident, a local leader of the same party is shot dead in the northwestern Swat Valley.

April 11: Fakhrul Islam, a candidate of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, is killed in a gun attack in Hyderabad.

April 3: Adnan Aslam, a candidate from the Pakistan Peoples’ Party, is killed in a gun attack in Karachi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Faseeh Mangi in Karachi at fmangi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Naween A. Mangi at nmangi1@bloomberg.net

4 Saudi Arabians Arrested After “Al-Qaeda” Bombing Of Catholic Church In Tanzania

[All terrorism linked to Saudis is “al-Qaeda,” since the international Islamist terror front would not exist without the Saudis, to instigate the terrorist nightmare of Wahhabi “Shariah” attacks.]

Tanzania police: 4 Saudi Arabian nationals arrested after bomb attack on Catholic church

foxnews

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ZANZIBAR, Tanzania –  A police commander in Tanzania says four Saudi Arabian citizens have been arrested following a bomb attack on a Catholic church.Magesa Mulogo said Monday that the four Saudi nationals were among six people arrested.

Mulongo said two people died in Sunday’s bombing of a newly opened church in the northern city of Arusha. Nearly four dozen people were wounded in the blast just before the church’s inaugural Mass, which was attended by the pope’s envoy to Tanzania.

Mulogo said eyewitnesses reported that the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle into the church. Mulogo said the driver of the motorcycle is among those arrested.