Pakistan kills senior Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant in Baluchistan raid

Shiites have sought protection from the Pakistani army, saying they had lost thousands of people in militant attacks in recent years. (AP)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Pakistan kills senior Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant in Baluchistan raid

  • The military released pictures of a blood-spattered militant laying dead on the ground, along with photos of ammunition.
  • Islamist militants have killed thousands of people in Pakistan since early 2000s, in their bid to impose a hardline version of Islam.

QUETTA, Pakistan: Pakistan's military has killed a senior member of Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi(LeJ) along two suicide bombers in a raid in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, the army's media wing said on Thursday.

A military intelligence officer was killed and four other soldiers wounded during the operation targeting Salman Badeni, the Baluchistan region chief of LeJ, on the outskirts of provincial capital Quetta.

Badeni had been "involved in killings of over 100 innocent personnel of Hazara Community and police", the army said in a statement.

The military also released pictures of a blood-spattered militant laying dead on the ground, along with photos of ammunition and what appears to be bomb-making material.

LeJ, a group which subscribes to the hardline Takfiri Deobandi school of Islam, considers Shi’ites apostates and has carried out scores of bloody bomb and gun attacks in Baluchistan over the past two decades, most of them aimed at the Shi'ite Hazara community.

Earlier this month members of the Hazara community went on a hunger strike in Quetta to protest a recent spate of killings targeting them and to demand greater protection in the resource-rich province that has been plagued by violence and insurgency.

Over the past couple of years Islamic State militants have also targeted the Hazara community in Baluchistan.

The Hazaras called off the protest after meeting with Pakistan's powerful army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who vowed greater protection and promised those targeting Hazaras "shall suffer twice as much".

Violence in Baluchistan is also a worry for China, which has voiced concerns about security in the province that hosts a key route in the $57-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a transport and energy link planned to run from western China to Pakistan's southern deep-water port of Gwadar.

Islamist militants have killed thousands of people in Pakistan since early 2000s, in their bid to impose a hardline version of Islam.


Funeral held for Norwegian student slain in Morocco

Updated 17 min 22 sec ago
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Funeral held for Norwegian student slain in Morocco

  • Moroccan ambassador Lamia Radi joined the mourners for 28-year-old Maren Ueland
  • Moroccan authorities have said that Ueland was killed together with 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen of Denmark in a terrorist act

OSLO: The Moroccan ambassador attended the funeral Monday of the Norwegian woman hiker murdered last December in Morocco along with her Danish friend, reading messages of sympathy from her country’s citizens.
Ambassador Lamia Radi joined the mourners for 28-year-old Maren Ueland, including Norway’s health minister and several dozen students from the University of Southeastern Norway, where the two women studied.
The church service took place in the southeast town of Time.
During the service, Radi denounced the “barbary” and “ignominy” of the killings, and read aloud messages from Moroccan people expressing their sadness.
“Morocco wanted to be present today to express first its solidarity, to share the sorrow of the family,” she told Norway’s TV2 ahead of the ceremony.
“At the same time, (we want) to make it very clear that we strongly condemn the horrible murders of those innocent girls,” she said.
Moroccan authorities have said that Ueland was killed together with 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen of Denmark in a “terrorist act.”
They were attacked as they camped overnight Dec 16-17 at an isolated hiking spot in the High Atlas mountains. Their bodies were found the following day, beheaded.
Moroccan authorities have arrested a total of 22 people in connection with the murders.
They include four main suspects and a Spanish-Swiss man who had links to some of the suspects and who subscribed to “extremist ideology,” Moroccan officials say.
The main suspects belonged to a cell inspired by Daesh group ideology, but none of the four had contact with Daesh members in Syria or Iraq, Morocco’s counter-terror chief Abdelhak Khiam told AFP.
Jespersen’s funeral was held on January 12 in Denmark.