Tuesday, June 25, 2013
From Print Edition
The recent killing of nine international tourists at the base camp of the world’s ninth tallest mountain of Nanga Parbat near Gilgit by Taliban to avenge the death of one of their leaders killed in a drone strike, is not the first time when foreigners, their worship places, business houses, work places, embassies and other installations have been targeted in Pakistan since the September 11, 2001 episode.
Here follows a time-line of some of the most widely reported attacks on foreign nationals:According to CNN, on February 22, 2002, the famous “Wall Street Journal” reporter, Daniel Pearl, was kidnapped and murdered in Karachi by Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and company. The American journalist was beheaded.
Another CNN report says that on March 17, 2002, a grenade attack on a Protestant church in the heavily guarded diplomatic enclave of Islamabad had killed five persons, including a US diplomat’s wife and his daughter. The then US Ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlin, had identified the American dead as Barbara Green and her 17-year-old daughter Kristen Wormsley.
According to the Guardian of May 9, on May 8, 2002, a bus bombing in Karachi had killed 11 Frenchmen and three Pakistanis near the Sheraton hotel. The 11 Frenchmen were engineers working with Pakistan to design an Agosta 90B class submarine for the Pakistani Navy. About 40 others were wounded. Al-Qaeda was blamed for the blast. On September 18, 2002, a man named Sharib Zubair, who was believed to have masterminded the attack, was arrested. In 2003, two men were sentenced to death for the bombing by a Karachi court. The suspected bomb-maker, Mufti Sabir, was arrested in Karachi on September 8, 2005. There were several convictions in the case, though Pakistani courts had acquitted three defendants by 2009. The New Zealand Cricket Team staying in a nearby hotel had flown back home, cancelling the tour.
As per BBC a powerful car bomb exploded near the heavily-guarded US Consulate in Karachi On June 14, 2002, killing 12 people. A portion of the outer wall of the consulate was blown apart.were killed in a gun attack on a missionary school for foreign students in Murree. The attack was carried by four gunmen, though no pupils were among those killed.On February 28, 2003, two local cops were shot dead outside the United States Consulate in Karachi, the same place where 12 people were killed by a car bomb nine months ago.
According to AP a car bomb in Gwadar killed three Chinese engineers on May 3, 2004. The blast had occurred as 12 Chinese engineers were being taken to work in a van. At that time, more than 400 Chinese engineers and construction workers were working on the $250 million project.
On May 26, 2004, two car bombs had exploded within 20 minutes of each other outside the Pakistan-American Cultural Center and near the US Consul General’s residence in Karachi, killing two men and injuring more than 27 people. The blasts had occurred around 500 metres from the US Consulate building. On June 14, 2002, a suicide bomb killed 12 people outside the same building and in February 2003, a gunman had attacked policemen guarding the same facility, killing two policemen. The gunman was later arrested.
According to CNN on November 15, 2005, a car bomb exploded outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet in Karachi. At least three people were killed.
On March 2, 2006, a suicide car bomb had killed four people outside the Karachi Marriott Hotel, about 20 yards from the US Consulate. Among the dead was David Foy, an American diplomat. It appeared that Foy was the direct target of the bomber, who had detonated his vehicle in the car park behind the consulate as the diplomat had arrived. The blast was reported to be the most powerful of its kind in Karachi, as it had left a two-metre crater in the car park and destroyed at least 10 nearby cars. The blast came just two days before the US President George Bush was to visit Pakistan.
According to Boston Globe on July 8, 2007, unidentified gunmen killed three Chinese workers near Peshawar, in what appeared to be a terrorist attack apparently linked to the bloody siege of militants at Islamabad’s Lal Masjid.
According to a CNN report on March 15, 2008, a bomb was hurled over a wall surrounding an Islamabad restaurant. The “Luna Caprese Restaurant,” was an outdoor cafe frequented by Westerners, journalists and diplomats. Four of the 12 people wounded in the bombing were US FBI agents. In addition to wounding the agents, the explosion had killed a Turkish woman and wounded a fifth American, three Pakistanis, a person from the United Kingdom and someone from Japan. FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko confirmed later that four of his colleagues from the US spy agency were “slightly injured” in the blast. CNN had stated: “A high-ranking federal source had earlier told CNN that the agents’ wounds included deep lacerations, concussions and fractures.” An FBI spokesman in Washington had no comment, but National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe told CNN that President Bush “appreciates the hard and dangerous work that US officials engage in around the world.”
On June 2, 2008, the Danish embassy in Islamabad was attacked with a car bomb, killing six people. A post purportedly from Al-Qaeda had appeared on the Internet a day after the attack, claiming the responsibility. The statement mentioned the publication of “insulting drawings/cartoons” and the Danish newspaper’s refusal to “apologise for publishing them.” The BBC had written: “Meanwhile, Denmark has sent a team to Islamabad to investigate the attack. They have handed over the embassy’s surveillance footage to Pakistani investigators. It shows a man driving a car at high speed in front of the embassy before it exploded. The car, a Suzuki, carried a Danish embassy diplomatic registration plate to avoid security. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called the act “cowardly” and said it would not change Danish policies. Investigators initially said it was not clear who carried out the attack, as Pakistan’s main militant group had recently declared a ceasefire.”
According to AP, DPA and CNN, on September 20, 2008, a massive truck bomb had exploded outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, killing at least 57 people and wounding 266 others. The majority of the casualties were Pakistanis; although at least five foreign nationals were killed and 15 others were reportedly injured. Two American military personnel and a Danish intelligence agent were killed, and a US State Department employee was missing and presumed dead. The Czech ambassador to Pakistan, Dr. Ivo Zdarek, had also perished in the ensuing fire along with his Vietnamese companion. Although Dr. Zdarek had survived the initial blast, he returned to the hotel to help in the rescue effort, but was trapped in the burning building. In addition, six Germans, four Britons and a Filipino receptionist from the hotel were among the injured. The suicide attack believed to be carried by a single individual had left a 20 feet deep and 50 feet wide crater. The attack was carried at local Iftar time, when the local and foreign residents had assembled together to have the Ramadan feast. The attack was significant as all the top political, diplomatic and military top brass was also dining in the nearby Prime Minister’s Secretariat after President Asif Zardari’s first parliamentary address.
On March 3, 2009, a convoy carrying Sri Lankan cricketers and officials in two buses was fired upon by 12 gunmen near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The cricketers were on their way to play the third day of the second Test against the Pakistani Cricket team. Six members of the Sri Lankan cricket team were injured. Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed. The Sri Lankans had called off the tour forthwith, marking an end to international cricket in Pakistan till date.
According to BBC, Christian Science Monitor and many other periodicals, on June 9, 2009, a suicide attack at Peshawar’s Pearl Continental had killed at least 17 people and wounded 70. The United States government had planned to purchase the luxury hotel as part of its plan to open a consulate in the city. Most of the foreigners caught in the blast were working with aid agencies helping the internally displaced persons. An official of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from Serbia, Aleksandar Vorkapic, was among those killed; a Filipino employee of UNICEF had also died. Three UN employees from Germany, Somalia, and the UK were wounded. It has been reported that four personnel of XE (Black water) had also lost lives in this blast.
On October 5, 2009, a suicide bomber dressed in military uniform had attacked the highly-fortified United Nations World Food Programme offices in Islamabad, killing five people including one Iraqi citizen and injuring six others.
According to BBC, Xinhua, BBC and Christian Science Monitor, on February 3, 2010, at least 10 people, including three US soldiers, were killed when a bomb had hit a convoy near a school in the north-west region of Pakistan. The soldiers were travelling in a convoy and were headed for the inauguration of a girls’ school. They were part of a contingent of approximately 70 soldiers training Pakistani soldiers in counter insurgency. American soldiers were training the Pakistani Frontier Corps. Three schoolgirls were also among the dead and it was believed that this blast had injured up to 70 people. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan had claimed the responsibility for the bombing. They claimed that the attack was in retaliation of October 2008 attack by Blackwater Worldwide in Peshawar.
CNN and BBC reported that on December 25, 2010, more than 47 people were killed in bombing targeting United Nations Food Programme in the troubled Pakistani tribal belt. The blast took place about 600 meters from a UN World Food Programme distribution point at a security check post in Khar (Bajaur Ahency). The UN had immediately suspended food aid to Pakistan after this incident.
On May 20, 2011, a group of four Russian citizens and one Tajik, (3 women and 2 men) had been travelling in a hired car in Balochistan. As soon as they had approached a checkpoint in the Kharotabad neighborhood of Quetta, they had exited their car and proceeded on foot. The Frontier Corps soldiers and police manning the Kharotabad checkpoint (reportedly and as officially claimed) thought they were about to be attacked by Chechen suicide bombers, “prompting” them to act accordingly.
As the five travelers had approached the checkpoint, they were greeted with a volley of bullets and all fell to the ground. TV footage had caught one of the injured women waving her arm and pleading for mercy. She too was killed. The day after the incident, the Quetta chief of police, Dawood Junejo, stated in a Press conference that “the five Chechens were not killed in firing by security personnel, but in a bomb explosion and that five mobile phones, two diaries, 48 fuses, seven detonators, a computer disc and CDs had been recovered from the alleged suicide bombers.” Dr. Baqir Shah, the Police surgeon who performed an autopsy on the deceased had later rejected the claim in court that the foreigners had attacked the police with hand grenades. On May 31, 2011, the Vice Consul of the Russian Consulate in Karachi, Tural Dzhavadov, said that the five foreigners who died in Quetta were not Chechens. On December 29, 2011, it was reported that the police surgeon, Dr. Baqir Shah, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Quetta.
On January 18, 2011, a regional sales officer at a Warid Telecom franchise outlet in Karachi, Ahsan Kamal, died when two armed men entered the store and attempted to loot it. When Kamal attempted to resist the men, he was shot dead. Messrs Warid Telecom International is an Abu Dhabi-based mobile telecommunication investment firm, whose portfolio companies provide telephony services in Congo, Pakistan and Uganda.
On January 31, 2011, one security guard and a woman were killed when unknown terrorists had opened fire inside a Telenor franchise in Nazimabad, Karachi. Telenor Group is a Norwegian multinational telecommunications company. It is one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications companies with operations in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia.