Saturday, April 19, 2014


Pakistan

Grenade Attack On Pakistani Cinema Kills Five

Peshawar is a frontline city in Pakistan's battle against Islamist militants who regard films as sinful.
Peshawar is a frontline city in Pakistan's battle against Islamist militants who regard films as sinful.
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By RFE/RL
At least five people have been killed and more than 30 wounded when unidentified attackers hurled two grenades inside a cinema in northwest Pakistan.

Officials said the attack took place late on February 2 in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

Police said a stampede following the blasts was responsible for many of the injuries.

Some 100 people were inside the theater at the time of the attack.

Earlier, a senior police officer, Faisal Mukhtar, said that three people had been killed.

"A China-made hand grenade has been used in this blast. About 90 to 100 people were present here at the time of blast. Three people have died so far and 20 to 25 other are injured. All the injured have been moved to hospital," Mukhtar told reporters.

Two of the injured later died in hospital.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Peshawar is a frontline city in Pakistan's battle against Islamist militants who regard films as sinful.

The attack comes a day after the Pakistani Taliban said it had chosen five people, including ex-cricketer Imran Khan, to represent the Islamist militant group at peace talks with the government.

A statement from Khan's party, which runs the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and backs talks with the militants, said he was not likely to accept the role but could still assist the peace process.

The Taliban also named hard-line cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz as one of its negotiators.

Aziz was in charge of the famed Red Mosque in the capital, Islamabad, where government forces killed scores of militants in a 2007 military operation.

Last month, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif named a four-member team of negotiators to lead negotiations with the militants, who have ties to Al-Qaeda.

In November 2013, Sharif's bid to hold peace talks with militants ended abruptly following the death of Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a suspected U.S. drone strike.

Few in Pakistan believe talks between the government and the militants can yield anything, as several deals in the past have resulted in more violence.

With reporting by dpa and Reuters

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