Taliban claim Karachi attack, strike called

Pakistan's Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 43 people in the commercial capital Karachi.

Taliban claim Karachi attack, strike called

Pakistan's Taliban on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 43 people in the commercial capital Karachi.

"My group claims responsibility for the Karachi attack and we will carry out more such attacks, within 10 days," Asmatullah Shaheen, one of the commanders of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, who spoke by telephone to a Reuters reporter in Peshawar.

"Complete strike"

Pakistani religious and political leaders called for a strike for Friday to condemn that attack, one of the worst in Karachi since 2007.

"The bombing itself was bad enough, but the violence that immediately erupted was also very well planned," said Sunni scholar Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, who blamed Pakistani authorities for the chaos.

"We want the government not only to compensate those killed in the attacks, but also those who lost their livelihoods, and so we are calling for a complete strike on Friday," he said.

"The government is using the Taliban as an excuse for everything that is happening anywhere in the country," said Noman Ahmed, who works for a Karachi clearing agency.

"The organised way that all this is being done clearly shows that the terrorists are being sponsored either by the government itself or some other state that wants to destabilise Pakistan."

"The Taliban, or whoever is behind this, cannot do it without the support of a government," said Shahid Mahmood, whose perfume and watch shops were torched in the riots.

"They know that Karachi is the heart of Pakistan and if it goes down, the country will go down."

Shi'ite leaders, as well as Karachi's dominant Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party, backed the strike call, which could bring the teeming city of 18 million to a standstill.



Reuters


Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2009, 14:22
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