Monday, May 31, 2010

Another Attack in Lahore

According to initial reports, five to seven militants stormed the Jinnah Hospital in Lahore, killing at least twelve people and injuring ten more. A security guard and five police are among those killed. Militants entered the hospital in a rescue attempt to free the injured assailant of Sunday's attack on two Ahmadi mosques placed in intensive care, taking other patients as hostages.

I'll update the post as more information comes my way.

Update I: Hostage crisis is over and the Hospital has been secured. The militants escapes as the police entered, unsuccessful in retrieving the injured attacker. So far no single group has claimed responsibility, though an Al -Qaeda-Punjabi Taliban-Sectarian group nexus is thought to be responsible.

Facebook is back and other news for Monday

Pakistani Facebook users rejoice! According to the latest news report from Dawn, the access to facebook has been restored in Pakistan after a two week ban imposed on May 19th by a Lahore High Court decision and the Pakistani Telecommunication Authority (PTA) over a facebook group encouraging viewers to draw Prophet Muhammad, itself a reaction to the decision by Comedy Central to censor the image of Prophet Muhammad from the 100th anniversary episode of South Park (see my previous post on this topic here). The reversal follows the removal of this page from the website.Of course the two week ban was enough to spark some Pakistanis to create a "Muslim Facebook" which the creators hope would allows users to connect with the 1.4 billion Muslims worldwide. Non-muslims need not apply.

More violence for Ahmadis today. An Ahmadi Muslim was stabbed to death in Narowal by an assailant which broke into his house, claiming not to leave a single Ahmadi alive. Do we need anymore proof that Ordinance XX in the Constitution seriously needs to be revised?

Israeli armed forces attacked an aid flottila headed for Gaza, killing  at least ten people and injuring seventy more. No word yet on the condition of some of the more prominent activsts involved, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 85. International condemnation follows. See Glen Greenwald, Juan Cole, March Lynch and Andrew Sullivan's response. I will be posting something on this by the end of the day.

Much ado about animals. An very interesting piece on the use of zoos as political tools of statecraft.

What is common between Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the recent promotion of A.G. Sulzberger at the New York Times? Well, if your parent happens to head something, then you can just sit back, relax and enjoy your ride to the top.