Toll in Quetta Bombing Rises to 65

The death toll rose to 65 in Friday’s deadly suicide bombing of a Shiite rally in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province in Pakistan. The Shiites had been commemorating Jerusalem Day, in solidarity with the Palestinians. The city was paralyzed by a general strike called to protest poor security, and all schools were closed. Most of the victims were buried in a funeral ceremony at Marriabad cemetery. Some Shiites claimed that more people died in undisciplined police firing after the bomb went off than in the blast itself (though that allegation strikes me as implausible).

The attack came on the heels of a similar bombing in Lahore that also targeted Shiites, and is part of a pattern of attacks on Shiites, Sufis and Ahmadis, all Pakistani forms of Islam hated by the Salafi militant reform branch of Sunni Islam.

The recent bombings may have been made easy by the preoccupation of the Pakistani army with relief work for victims of the country’s almost cosmic flooding during the past month.

Aljazeera English has video:

Gul Jammas Hussein has a a good piece on the strategy and motives of the hyper-Sunni groups carrying out these anti-Shiite bombings, though I don’t find his final ‘foreign hand’ possibility persuasive. I agree, though, it is odd that the Quetta Shiites were hit while marching for a Palestinian Jerusalem.

3 Responses

  1. Gul Jammas Hussein makes sense. The authors of false flag attacks don’t acknowledge their deeds, which they carry out more often than the public thinks. Hussein writes better in English than 99% of Americans do: his idiom’s superb.

  2. I fail to see why Hussein’s assessment is sound. We are talking about killing people, and having them be assessed as so immoral they need to be eliminated. This would require Sunni fanatic group, as the same mind-set as the Al Queda in Iraq. I fail to grasp where a foreign intelligence service is going to get someone to carry out a suicide bombing for what is just a “mess up the enemy’s social structure” objective.

  3. In reply to Warren Metzler:

    I do not know the specifics of the Quetta bombing situation, so I cannot comment in detail on it. However, I will address your comment, “I fail to grasp where a foreign intelligence service is going to get someone to carry out a suicide bombing for what is just a “mess up the enemy’s social structure” objective.”

    When viewing events that could be “false flag” attacks, it always helps to ask, “who benefits?” From the viewpoint of a major power, having a weak, chaotic social structure in a particular country may be beneficial, as it may prevent an organized opposition to the major power from forming in that country, or may in other ways be seen as beneficial to the instigator. For example, it is well known that the U.S. has supported militant groups who have committed violent acts in Iran, with the objective of destabilizing that regime. This is a direct example of a foreign intelligence service (the CIA) supporting violence so as to “mess up the enemy’s social structure”.

    U.S. policy in Iraq could be cited as an overt example of following a policy of instigating chaos–by dismantling Saddam’s army shortly after our invasion, we practically guaranteed that Iraq would become chaotic. From the point of view of the welfare of the Iraqi people, this did not make sense. However, it did result in a long period of dependence on the U.S. presence, guaranteeing that we would control those things that were important to us, such as Iraq’s oil resources.

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