Sunday, 22 September 2013

Pakistan church blast kills dozens

A Christian man in Lahore holding a cross jumps over burning tyres during a protest against a twin suicide bomb attack on a church in Peshawar, 22 September 2013Pakistani Christians held protests following the Peshawar attacks
A twin-suicide bombing outside a church in Peshawar in Pakistan has killed at least 75 people, in one of the worst attacks on Christians in the country.
Two bombers blew themselves up as worshippers were coming out of the city's historic All Saints church after attending Sunday Mass, police say.
Relatives of the victims gathered at the scene to protest against the government's failure to protect them.
Militants linked to Pakistani Taliban have said they carried out the bombing.
The group, Jandullah, said it was in retaliation US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal northwest.
Sunday's twin attacks targeted Peshawar's historic All Saints Church as hundreds of worshippers were attending Mass.
Witnesses said they heard two blasts, the second more powerful than the first.
Suicide vests were later found outside the church, officials say. More than 120 people were wounded in the bombings.
It is the latest in a series of attacks on Pakistani Christians, who represent about 1.6% of the country's largely Muslim population.
The BBC's Shahzeb Jillani in Pakistan says the attack has outraged many people, but there is also a sense of helplessness about the government's apparent inability to prevent such atrocities.
There were angry scenes outside the church, with friends and relatives denouncing the government.
Demonstrations were held in other cities too.
In Karachi, police fired bullets in air and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters.
A man distraught outside the churchIslamists have been blamed for attacks on Christians in the past
Pakistani Christians mourn beside the coffins of relatives killed in two suicide bomb attacks in Peshawar, 22 September 2013Grieving relatives gathered to identify their relatives
A Pakistani woman grieves as doctors cover the body of her mother, killed in a suicide attack on a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, 22 September, 2013The Pakistani Christian minority feels vulnerable to militant attacks
Pakistani soldiers stand guard outside a church in Quetta on 22 September, following a twin-suicide bomb attack on Christians in Peshawar. Security has been strengthened outside a number of Pakistani Christian churches following Sunday's attack

Guddoomiyaha maxkamada iyo xeer ilaaliyaha degmada Baydhabo oo maanta xabsiga la dhigay

Baydhabo[RBC Radio]Wararka anuu ka helayno magaaladda Baydhabo ee xarunta gobolka Bay ayaa soo sheegaya in guddoomiyaha maxkamadda iyo xeer ilaaliyaha degmada Baydhabo maanta xabsiga la dhigay, waxana wararku ay inta ku darayaan in arrintan ay timid ka dib markii lugu soo eedeeyay inay xabsiga kasii daayeen nin gacanku dhiigle ahaa oo lagu xukumay dil toogasho.
Sidoo kale waxaa lugu soo eedeyey masuuliyinta xiligan xabsiga loo taxaabay inay ehellada gacan ku dhiiglaha ay sii daayeen ay ka qaateen lacago laaluush ah, arrintaas oo ka dacwoodeen qoyskii ninka laga dilay,taasina ay kentay in ay mutestan xabsiga in la dhigo.
Illaa hadda lama caddeyn halka uu ka yimid amarka lagu soo xiray labadan mas’uul inkasta  xiligaan la soo xiray.
Labada masuul ee la soo xiray waxaa lugu kala magacaaba guddomiyaha maxkamadda , Sheekh Maxamed Gaab iyo xeer-ilaaliyaha degmada Baydhabo Aamed Yare.
Waxaa la soo sheegaya in xabsiga dhexe ee magaalada Baydhabo ay ku xiranyihiin dad badan oo ku eedeysan gacan-ku-dhiiglenimo kuwaasoo laayay dad shacab ah oo aan waxba galabsan, iyadoo qaarkood ay ka mid yihiin ciidamada dowladda.
Si kastaba ma jirto illaa hadda cid ka hadasha xariga la sheegay in looo gestay labada masuul ee kala hayey xilalka guddoomiyaha maxkamada iyo xeer ilaaliyaha degmada Baydhabo.
RBC Radio,Baydhabo

Russian offers troops to help remove Syria chemical arm


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks in Moscow, on 16 September, 2013.Mr Lavrov's deal with the US put back the prospect of Washington taking military action against Syria
Russia can send its military personnel to help in the proposed operation to eliminate Syria's chemical arms, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says.
Mr Lavrov told Russian TV that military observers could help Syria destroy its stockpiles under a US-Russian deal.
He also accused the US of using "blackmail" over a UN resolution.
The international chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW, says Syria has met the deadline to submit details of its estimated 1,000-tonne chemical arsenal.
This was the first step in a deal, brokered by Russia and the United States, to eliminate the weapons by the middle of next year.
Specialist monitors
A large contingent of Russian troops would not be necessary - rather a small detachment of observers - Mr Lavrov told the pro-Kremlin First Channel.

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Our American partners are beginning to blackmail us”
Sergei Lavrov
Arab states and Turkey could be part of the monitoring mission, he suggested.
In the same interview, Mr Lavrov accused the US, Britain and France of being "blinded" by their objective of regime change in Syria.
He said Western countries were threatening to stop work on Syria's chemical disarmament deal unless Russia supported a UN resolution authorising military action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia - a key ally of the Syrian government - has blocked previous such resolutions in the Security Council.
Mr Lavrov said the OPCW was "about to make a decision" on Syria but the process had been placed in jeopardy by the "arrogant position of some Western partners".
"Our American partners are beginning to blackmail us," he said. The US, Britain and France should, he argued, be focused instead on the "unique opportunity" to solve the problem of Syria's chemical weapons.
In Syria on Sunday a mortar round hit the compound of the Russian embassy, in the capital, Damascus.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in the attack. The area in central Damascus where the embassy is located has regularly been targeted by rebel forces.

Recovering a WWII bomber hidden in a French cave

Finding bits of plane in the cave
For historians, wreckage from a World War II German bomber in the French Pyrenees is an exceptional find, but some local residents are less keen on digging up the past.
It is a long drive over gravel and dirt roads in the Pyrenees through the mist.
Finally, more than 1,000m (3,280ft) up, I reach my destination and I feel I have either joined the flickering embers of an all-night rave party or a group of hardcore forest environmentalists.
The men look haggard, bundled up against the early morning cold.
There are shabby tents bunched on the rare patches of dry earth and lots of heavy machinery on the ground, while coffee brews on a makeshift stove. The remains of a cassoulet sit on the bottom of a large pan.
This is the select French world of WWII plane wreckage investigators.
About 50 of them are here retrieving the remains of a German bomber - the dreaded Dornier 217.ZA. Some 1,700 were built, but none remain intact to this day.

From Our Own Correspondent

Wreckage from the Dornier 217
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This particular salvage operation is intriguing.
The Germans had stationed many of the Dorniers outside the French city of Toulouse from where they conducted bombing runs on allied forces at sea.
However, in July 1944 two of these bombers got lost on their return to base and collided over the Pyrenees mountains.
The eight crew members were killed instantly but the mountains were also home to "passeurs" - members of the resistance - who helped smuggle allied troops over the peaks and into relative safety in Spain.
Local people feared reprisals from the Germans who would come looking for the bodies, so they decided to throw the wreckage down a nearby 100m (328ft) cave hole to hide the evidence.
And then, for decades to come, a collective unofficial silence descended on the community.
Today's plane wreckage hunters are a mixed bag, including archaeologists and historians.
The 100m-deep cave hole where the wreckage was hidden
Many, though, come from the aerospace industry, working for manufacturers like Airbus or the turboprop maker ATR. You could say they have aviation in their blood.
Gilles Collaveri is one of the most determined members of the group. It was word of mouth and long-forgotten rumours that sent him trekking through the forest last year in search of this remote cave.

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Much of the wreckage looks like mundane scrap metal, but some pieces bring the history back to life”
Its location matched eyewitness accounts of the crash but it was inaccessible.
So he asked a local speleologist group to help him discover what might be at the bottom of the cave and sure enough they stumbled on large charred metal sections of one of the lost Dorniers.
Like most things in France, it took months of haggling and bureaucratic paperwork to get the official permission they needed to start retrieving the wreckage - it proved a complex affair requiring makeshift cranes, harnesses and muscle power.
Many of the parts weigh more than 50kg each and pulling them up a narrow 100m shaft was far from easy.
Out in the open much of the wreckage looks like mundane scrap metal, but some pieces bring the history back to life.
These include the wing sections, remains of an oxygen tank, ammunition and one cockpit part with German instructions still intact.
Investigators salvage wreckage from the Dornier 217
The team say that what they have found is relatively well preserved.
There is not enough to consider rebuilding the plane, so it will all end up in museums in Berlin and southern France.
In fact, one reason why there are no complete Dorniers today is because after the war, their metal fuselages were recycled for other industrial needs.
This team celebrated its success with a makeshift lunch provided by the owner of an aviation-themed restaurant near the airport control tower in Toulouse.
A bit of wreckage
He is an amateur pilot but too old to go down a cave on ropes.
Instead he rustled up a beef stew with mustard sauce followed by chocolate brownies, all washed down with local strong red wine.
Yet not everyone is happy to see this history brought to light.

The last Dornier bomber

Dornier bomber
When the aircraft lying on the Goodwin Sands was salvaged, the extent of the corrosion could be seen as it was lifted from the water.
The twisted fuselage was held in place only by a strut inserted by the salvage team. The engines had come adrift and will be recovered separately.
In the nearby village of Sacoue is the mayor, Yvette Campan, who has lived there all her life. She remembers her grandparents talking about how scared they were when the two bombers crashed and seeing the crews' bodies scattered over a wide area.
The last thing they wanted was to attract attention.
And even now, there was no local ceremony to mark the recovery of the wreckage - in her words the Germans were the enemy after all. She said if it had been a British plane that was being salvaged it would be a different story.
The local hunters out searching for wild boar also seemed uncomfortable at the sight of these outsiders digging up the past.
But one of the elderly plane hunters, Georges Jauzion, a former pilot in the French air force and test pilot for Airbus, sees it differently.
He says he wants to put himself in the place of the German pilots and to understand what really happened in the skies over this mountain range nearly 70 years ago.
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Huge cocaine haul seized on Air France plane in Paris

Air France planesThe 30 suitcases were reportedly not registered to any passenger on board

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Police at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport have seized 1.3 tonnes of pure cocaine on board an Air France flight from Venezuela, French officials say.
The drugs were found packed inside 30 suitcases on 11 September, but the operation was revealed on Saturday.
France's Interior minister, Manuel Valls, said it was the biggest drug haul ever made in the Paris area.
Six people were arrested, accused of being members of an international drug smuggling ring, Mr Valls said.
Officials say they believe the drugs were meant for sale in France and had a street value of 200m euros (£169m; $270m).
The Air France flight came from Caracas.
The suitcases with the cocaine reportedly were not registered to any of the passengers.

Kenya standoff: At least 59 dead, Uhuru Kenyatta says

The BBC's Will Ross outside the mall: "Bursts of gunfire can be heard"
At least 59 people were killed and 175 injured in Saturday's attack on a Nairobi shopping centre, Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
More than 1,000 people were brought out of the Westgate shopping centre and the rescue operation continues, Mr Kenyatta said at a news conference on Sunday.
Between 10 and 15 attackers - thought to be militants from the Somali al-Shabab movement - are still inside.
Some civilians are still trapped, either as hostages or in hiding.
'Appalling brutality'

At the scene

It is extremely tense here as people wait to learn the full horror of this attack. That will only be known once the entire building has been secured.
Trucks full of Kenyan soldiers have been driving towards the mall. Eyewitnesses saw some of those troops entering the building in an effort to end this siege.
But with the government confirming that hostages are still being held, any move will carry great risk. Here, just 200m from the shopping mall, the Red Cross has set up a medical centre to help the injured, including soldiers, who are being rushed out in ambulances. Relatives are registering the names of their missing loved ones and waiting anxiously for news.
An attack by al-Shabab had long been feared. This shopping centre was considered a prime target partly because it is frequented by many different nationalities. This horrific attack has sent this city into shock.
"The criminals are now located in one place within the building," Mr Kenyatta said.
"With the professionals on site, we have as good a chance to neutralise the terrorists as we could hope for."
He thanked those who had helped with rescue and relief efforts, and asked other countries not to issue travel advisories against visiting Kenya.
Mr Kenyatta's nephew and his fiancee were among the dead, the president said.
The UK Foreign Office has confirmed that three Britons have been killed, and says the number is likely to rise.
French, Chinese, Ghanaian and Canadian citizens are also among the foreigners confirmed killed, along with a dual Australian-British national.
British Prime Minister David Cameron called it "an absolutely sickening and despicable attack of appalling brutality".
There is a heavy military presence both in and around the shopping centre. Sporadic gunfire can be heard from inside.
There are reports that the gunmen are currently holed up in a supermarket. Mr Kenyatta said there were reports of women among the attackers but these could not be confirmed.
Minister Joe Lenku says the operation at the shopping centre is "very, very delicate"
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says a security source told him that at least one of the attackers was a woman who appeared to have a leadership role.
The Somali militant group al-Shabab says it carried out the attack in response to Kenyan military operations in Somalia.
There are about 4,000 Kenyan troops in the south of Somalia, where they have been fighting the militants since 2011.
'Watching and monitoring'
Kenyan officials said "major operations" were under way, with police and soldiers preparing an apparent bid to bring an end to the stand-off.
The BBC's Will Ross at the scene said it would be extremely difficult for the military do a quick raid on the building because of all the people inside.
Al-Shabab has claimed there are at least 36 hostages, but this cannot be independently confirmed.
Our correspondent says the full extent of the attack will not be known until the military is back in control.
Meanwhile, people are still escaping from the building.

Confirmed victims

  • Ruhila Adatia-Sood, Kenyan radio host
  • Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor, 78
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta's nephew, Mbugua Mwangi and fiancee Rosemary Wahito
  • Canadian diplomat Annemarie Desloges, 29
  • Two French nationals
  • One Australian
  • Three Britons
  • One Chinese woman
  • A second Canadian national
Cecile Ndwiga got out on Sunday morning, saying she had been hiding under a vehicle in the basement car park but could not leave earlier because "the shootout was all over - left, right".
The authorities have asked journalists to exercise caution when reporting military developments because the gunmen might be monitoring the media.
The authorities are also appealing for Kenyans to donate blood. Big queues have formed at a Nairobi donation centre.
The attack began at about 12:00 local time (09:00 GMT) on Saturday, when the militants entered the Westgate centre, throwing grenades and firing automatic weapons. A children's day was being held at the time - children are among those reported killed.
Witnesses report seeing many bodies strewn round tables of unfinished fast food - with pop music left playing in the background.
Kenyan soldier inside the Westgate mall (21 September)By Sunday afternoon, the security forces had the attackers pinned down in one corner of the shopping centre, officials said
Soldiers from the Kenya Defense Force carry a wounded colleague out of the Westgate Mall Military and police are out in force at the Westgate centre, trying to capture the gunmen
Local residents watch the siege at Nairobi's Westgate Centre (22 September)Local residents watched from a safe distance as the siege continued for a second day
Funeral for Rehmad Mehbub, 18, killed in Nairobi attack (22 September)Funerals have already begun taking place for some of the dead - including Rehmad Mehbub, an 18-year-old Muslim killed in crossfire between police and attackers
Blood donors in Nairobi (22 September)Thousands gave blood at donation centres across Nairobi on Sunday
Some witnesses said the militants told Muslims to leave and said non-Muslims would be targeted.
"They came and said: 'If you are Muslim, stand up. We've come to rescue you'," said Elijah Lamau.
Manager: "Bullets were running over my head... I crawled into my office and I locked myself inside."
He said the Muslims left with their hands up, and then the gunmen shot two people.
The US State Department said it had reports that American citizens were injured in what it called "a senseless act of violence".
Prominent Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor - who was attending a literary festival in Nairobi - also died, as did a Chinese woman.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack and said one of the victims was a retired staff member from the UN children's agency Unicef.
Security experts are reported to have warned that the Israeli-owned complex was in danger of being subjected to a terror attack.
Al-Shabab, which is part of the al-Qaeda network, has repeatedly threatened attacks on Kenyan soil if Nairobi did not pull its troops out of Somalia.
This is one of the worst incidents in Kenya since the attack on the US embassy in August 1998.
Footage from inside the mall shows the aftermath of the shoot-out
Are you in Nairobi? Are you, or is someone you know, affected by these events? Send us your experiences using the form below.

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