Peshawar church carnage decried

Updated 23 September 2013
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Peshawar church carnage decried

PESHAWAR: A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130-year-old church in Pakistan after Sunday Mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the country.
Explosions struck the historic white-stone All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar as hundreds of parishioners, many of them women and children, streamed out of the building.
“I heard two explosions. People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church,” said one parishioner, who only gave her first name, Margrette.
She said she had not seen her sister since the explosions ripped through the gate area outside the Anglican church.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the death toll of 78 included 34 women and seven children, in remarks televised live from Peshawar. More than 100 were wounded.
The Taleban-linked militant group TTP Jundullah claimed responsibility within hours of the attack.
“They are the enemies of Islam, therefore we target them,” said the group’s spokesman, Ahmed Marwat. “We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land.”
“The Prime Minister said that terrorists have no religion and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions,” his office said in a statement.


Eritrea responds to Ethiopia PM’s olive branch

Updated 20 June 2018
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Eritrea responds to Ethiopia PM’s olive branch

  • Eritrea and Ethiopia remain bitter foes after a 1998-2000 conflict that drew comparisons to the First World War
  • Even after the end of the war, the border remains heavily militarised and disputed

ADDIS ABABA: Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki is dispatching a delegation to Addis Ababa for “constructive engagement” with arch-foe Ethiopia after peace overtures this month from its new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, a senior Eritrean diplomat said on Wednesday.
Isais made the annoucement — a potentially significant breakthrough in one of Africa’s most protracted conflicts — earlier on Wednesday, Eritrea’s ambassador to Japan, Estifanos Afeworki, said on Twitter. He gave no further details.
Eritrean information minister Yemane Ghebremeskel did not respond to requests for comment.
Eritrea and Ethiopia remain bitter foes after a 1998-2000 conflict that drew comparisons to the First World War, with waves of conscripts forced to march through minefields toward Eritrean trenches, where they were cut down by machine gun fire.
Casuality figures are disputed in both countries although most estimates suggest 50,000 Ethiopian soldiers died, against 20,000 on the Eritrean side.
Even after the end of the war, the border remains heavily militarised and disputed, most notably the town of Badme which was part of Eritrea, according to a 2002 international arbitration ruling.
Since then, Addis has ignored the ruling and refused to pull out troops or officials, to the fury of Asmara.
However, Abiy, a 41-year-old former soldier who has embarked on a radical economic and political reform drive since taking over in March, stunned Ethiopians this month when he said Addis would honor all the terms of the settlement between the two countries, suggesting he was prepared to cede Badme.
In parliament this week, Abiy also acknoewledged the tensions continued to inflict a heavy economic cost on both countries and said Addis should no longer hide this price tag from the Ethiopian people, another stunning departure with the past.
There has so far been no official response to Abiy’s overtures from Eritrea, one of the Africa’s most closed states.