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Entries in Sunni (7)

Sunday
Mar032013

Suicide Bombing in Pakistan Kills 30, Injures 50

George Doyle/Thinkstock(KARACHI, Pakistan) -- Pakistan's largest city was the site of a deadly suicide bomb blast on Sunday morning.

The explosion is the latest attack on Pakistan's Shiite minority. The bomber reportedly struck directly outside a Shiite mosque as people were leaving, killing at least 30 people and injuring at least 50 more. According to the BBC, the explosion destroyed several buildings and set others on fire in the residential area.

While Karachi is often named among the most dangerous cities in the world, there had not been a targeted suicide attack in quite a while.

Pakistan's Shiite minority are often the target of attacks from Sunni militant groups, according to the BBC.

Shiites in other areas of Pakistan have already begun to retaliate and form armed militias. Some fear that if similar organizing were to occur in Karachi, the violence could spin out of control.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis Killed in Separate Bombings

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- Neither Shiites nor Sunnis were spared deadly attacks in Iraq Sunday, coming on the second day of the holy month of Ramadan.

Overall, violence has been on the wane in Iraq more than six months after all U.S. military forces withdrew from the country.

However, Sunday's attacks could give ammunition to those who worry that Iraq could again descend into sectarian warfare that nearly tore the country apart from 2005-2007, given that one side will blame the other for Sunday's assaults.

Most of the Shiite fatalities occurred in Baghdad's southern outskirts around sundown when a bomb blew up in a crowded marketplace.  Overall, 25 Shiites died in attacks launched in Baghdad and the central city of Najaf, with dozens more wounded.

Later in the day, two Sunni towns were targeted with bombings by insurgents, leaving at least 18 people dead and over 50 injured in what some speculate were in retaliation for the strikes against Shiites.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr272012

Islamic Cleric Undertakes Mission to Keep Iraq Unified

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- Firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr finds himself in the role of peacemaker in an attempt to calm a crisis that threatens to split Iraq.

Al-Sadr, who is pro-Iran and vehemently anti-America, traveled to Iraq's semiautonomous northern Kurdish region on Thursday to try and convince its president, Massud Barzani, to give up secession plans.

Both the Kurds and Sunnis say they are being marginalized by the Shiite-dominated central government in Baghdad, with accusations that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is trying to consolidate as much power as possible.

Having already met with al-Maliki, the cleric seemed to be sympathetic to those on the outside of the government, saying, "Minorities are an important part of Iraq, and we have to bring them to participate in building Iraq, politically, economically and in security."

He also called for "canceling the policy of neglect and marginalization."

Al-Sadr says that he has an 18-point plan to end the stalemate that would be accomplished through inclusiveness and dialogue.  Barzani is willing to give the government until September to change course or else he'll call for an election to secede from Iraq.

Sunnis don't have the same political sway.  Their recourse instead is to launch insurgent attacks that have kept national security forces on a constant state of alert.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec202011

Iraqi Sunni Vice President Accused of Ordering Assassinations

ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- Post-U.S. occupied Iraq is already undergoing its first major governmental crisis.

Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi is facing an arrest warrant after being charged with overseeing a death squad that has allegedly assassinated government and security officials.

The Shiite leaders of Iraq said the accusations against al-Hashimi are based on the confessions of three men claiming to have worked for the vice president as bodyguards.

Their "confessions" broadcast on state-run TV allege they both planted and set off bombs in public squares as well as firing on convoys carrying Shiite officials.

One of the men claiming to work for al-Hashimi said he personally received $3,000 from his boss after carrying out an assassination.

Al-Hashimi's office has denied all the charges despite acknowledging that the men worked for him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar152011

Three-Month State of Emergency Declared In Bahrain

JAMES LAWLER DUGGAN/AFP/Getty Images(MANAMA, Bahrain) -- A three-month state of emergency was declared by Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah on Tuesday, authorizing the head of the military to "to take necessary steps to restore national security." It is the latest escalation in the tense and often violent month-long standoff between Shiite Muslim protesters and the security forces of the ruling Sunni family.

The declaration of martial law comes a day after a taskforce of around 1,500 troops from the Gulf Cooperation Council arrived in Bahrain to bolster the tiny island nation's forces. Most are from Saudi Arabia, crossing the short causeway that connects the two kingdoms.

The presence of foreign troops has infuriated the demonstrators who marched Tuesday from their symbolic home base of Pearl Square towards the Saudi embassy.

There are concerns that Bahrain's unrest could develop into a proxy war between Iran and its Sunni Arab neighbors. Iran has been accused of backing the protesters but so far no evidence has been offered.

What began as protests by the Shiite minority for more rights and a constitutional monarchy has developed into calls for the monarchy to be abolished. Bahrain is a key ally for the U.S., the home of the Navy's 5th Fleet. During a recent visit, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged the king to undertake real reforms, not "baby steps."

The U.S. State Department is urging Americans to avoid travel to Bahrain and suggesting those there to leave. The embassy in the capital Manama has authorized the departure of non-essential personnel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb162011

Protests Spreading Through Middle East

Photo Courtesy - MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images(MANAMA, Bahrain) -- Thousands of protestors in Bahrain have taken over the main square in the capital. They're demanding the Sunni-led regime include more Shi'ites and provide better jobs and housing.  Some say the prime minister and the whole regime must go. 

In Iran, hardline politicians are calling for the execution of the two main opposition leaders as arrests continue in a crackdown following Monday's protests. 

Jordan's King is facing threats of an uprising from a powerful group of Bedouin tribes who in a public letter accuse his wife, Queen Rania, of corruption and stealing public land for her family.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan252011

Hezbollah-Backed Mikati Appointed PM, Protests Rage in Tripoli

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BEIRUT, Lebanon) – Hezbollah-backed Najib Mikati has been named as Lebanon’s prime minister designate, despite continued protests around the country backing outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Major protests in Tripoli, as well as smaller ones in Beirut, were part of what has been called a “day of rage,” despite Hariri’s continued condemnation of the violence.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that a government controlled by Hezbollah would “clearly" impact U.S. relations with the country, as Washington sees the group as a terrorist organization. Mikati, however, told the BBC he is in no way related to Hezbollah and considers himself a “moderate” politician.

The political crisis and following unrest were the result of an investigation into the murder of Hariri’s father, Rafik Hariri, which is expected to point to Hezbollah members.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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