World | Other World Stories

Female bomber kills 12 in Kabul to avenge film

Attack brings to more than 30 the number of people killed

  • AFP
  • Published: 13:47 September 18, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • 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.

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.

Comments (7)

  1. Added 14:56 September 19, 2012

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

    Farhan Ahmed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:20 September 19, 2012

    Since this film was made in America, hence this is America’s responsibility to arrest and punish those involved in making anti-Islam film. By doing this, I hope people across the Muslim world will appreciate America.

    Jaan Mohd, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 14:02 September 19, 2012

    Why are we allowing a few radicals to take control of our society each time there is a book or a movie? We have to grow up to counter such insinuations against our religion. Write, produce movies. Otherwise they think they what they say about Islamic violence is true.

    Ahmad Mheir, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 13:46 September 19, 2012

    All of us (Muslims) should not encourage any violence for the sake of avenging any hate film. We should behave maturely and peacefully to resolve the matter. Islam never preaches us to kill innocent people no matter what. This kind of protest will bring nothing but more hatred and deaths.

    Alam, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:43 September 19, 2012

    The screening of the film showing disrespect to the Prophet (PBUH) has to be condemned in the strongest terms and all legal steps have to be taken to prevent a repeat of such or similar misconduct in the future. At the same time taking the law into their own hands and embarking on a killing spree by crowds cannot be condoned by any civilized society. Imagine what would be the situation if the people of non-Muslim countries also start reciprocating. Then the human disaster would many times greater. It is the time for governments and citizens to show restraint.

    Mathew Philip, Sharjah, United Kingdom

  6. Added 12:31 September 19, 2012

    Pure madness. what's the point of killing 30 innocent people all over the world for a baseless movie? Wake up people of the world and react against this violence rather that reacting against the movie.

    Ignatious, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 10:18 September 19, 2012

    Please don't kill people in the name of religion. God is almighty and he requires his children to live in peace. Killing fellow humans in the name of a lunatic film is the most absurd thing. God is definitely grieving about the state of mankind! Please follow God's heart...Please do not kill innocents.

    Swapnil, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Gulf News
News Editor's choice