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Female bomber kills 12 in Kabul to avenge film

Attack brings to more than 30 the number of people killed

Image Credit: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan security personnel investigate at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul September 18, 2012. A suicide bomber blew up a mini-bus carrying foreign and local contract workers near Kabul airport in Afghanistan on Tuesday, with at least nine bodies lying near the wreckage, a Reuters witness at the scene said.
07 Gulf News

Kabul: A female suicide bomber killed 12 people in Kabul yesterday in the deadliest single attack claimed to avenge a US film that has sparked a week of deadly protests across the Muslim world.

The attack brings to more than 30 the number of people now killed in a violent backlash over a YouTube trailer for the film, “Innocence of Muslims,” believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians.

Security officials said nine foreigners were among those killed on a major highway leading to Kabul airport and close to a wedding hall when the bomber blew her station wagon up alongside a minivan carrying foreign workers.

An AFP photographer saw at least six bodies lying among the wreckage of a gutted minivan, and another vehicle destroyed by flames still burning in the middle of the highway, with debris flung all around.

Hezb-i-Islami, the second largest insurgent group after the Taliban who have been fighting US-led troops and the government for 10 years, claimed the attack.

“The bombing was carried out by a woman named Fatima. The bombing was in retaliation for the insult to our Prophet,” spokesman Zubair Siddiqui told AFP in a telephone from an undisclosed location.

It is extremely rare for the faction to claim a suicide attack in Afghanistan. It is also rare for women to carry out suicide attacks.

Taliban fighters last week stormed a British-run airfield, killing two US Marines and destroying six US fighter jets also to avenge the film.

A week of furious protests outside US embassies and other American symbols in at least 20 countries have killed 19 other people, including the American ambassador to Libya and three other US diplomats in the North African country.

In Lebanon, the head of Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah, which is blacklisted in the United States as a terrorist organisation, made a rare public appearance to warn of “very dangerous” repercussions if the film is released in its entirety.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of southern Beirut to denounce the film at the request of Nasrallah, who has called for a week of protests over the film, describing it as the “worst attack ever on Islam.”

“The US must understand that releasing the entire film will have dangerous, very dangerous, repercussions around the world,” he told the rally.

The filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Copt and fraudster who was sentenced to 21 months in prison in the US in June 2010, has not been seen since Saturday when he was questioned by his US parole officer.

The risks now facing those involved in the production of the film, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in a bad light, were underlined when a Salafist cleric in Egypt called Monday for the deaths of all those involved in its making.

Before dawn on Monday, officers from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department escorted four members of Nakoula’s family to join him in hiding.

“I issue a fatwa and call on the Muslim youth in America and Europe to do this duty, which is to kill the director, the producer and the actors and everyone who helped and promoted the film,” said the Egyptian cleric, Ahmad Fouad Ashoush.

In Pakistan, two protesters died after demonstrating against the film in the northwest, close to the Afghan border, and outside the US consulate in Karachi.

The US embassy in Islamabad closed on Monday because of the risk of demonstrations and diplomats have been banned from all but essential travel.

Pakistan has also blocked access to YouTube, following the video-sharing website’s failure to take down the anti-Islam film.

Similar measures have been taken in Afghanistan. Google, which owns YouTube, has also barred access to the film in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Libya and Malaysia.

There have been violent demonstrations this week in Kabul and Jakarta, spreading from deadly demonstrations on Friday that saw police battle to defend US missions from mobs in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen.

The US has deployed counter-terror Marine units to Libya to protect its embassy in Tripoli and stationed two destroyers off the North African coast.

On September 11, its consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi came under sustained attack, killing four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens.

A Marine unit was also dispatched to protect the US embassy in Yemen, where police shot dead four protesters and wounded 34 others on Thursday as a mob breached its perimeter. There were more protests in Yemen on Monday.

The United States has evacuated all non-essential staff and family members from Sudan and Tunisia and warned US citizens against travel to the two countries.



Latest Comment

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan [Hafidhahullah]: ”Our advice regardingthat is to have comportment and not to show disapproval in this manner;demonstrations or harming innocent people, and wasting wealth, this isnot permissible. Those who must respond to this are the scholars, notthe common folk. The scholars respond to these affairs. They (i.e. theKuffaar) want to cause chaos amongst us and they wish to affect us; thisis what they want. They want us to fight one another. The soldierswithold while these people attack; and there occurs beating, killing,and injury. This is what they want. Calm down, calm down. Those who areresponsible for responding are the people of knowledge and insight. Orthey could chose not to respond to them and resolve not to respond. Thepagans used to call the Messenger a magician, a soothysayer, a liar etc.and Allaah commanded him to have patience. They did not protest inMakkah nor did they destroy any of the homes of the pagans nor did theykill anyone. Patience and comportment until Allaah the Glorified andHigh facilitates a way for the Muslims. That which is obligatory is tohave comportment; especially in these times and in these tribulationsand within this evil today which is going on within the lands of theMuslims. It is obligatory to have comportment and not rush into theseaffairs; and the commoners are not fit to deal with this, for theignorant do not know. None should deal with this except the people ofknowledge and insight.”

Farhan Ahmed

19 September 2012 15:52jump to comments