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[skill percent=”33″ title=”ISIS Strikes”]
[skill percent=”20″ title=”Edhi Dies”]
[skill percent=”18″ title=”Pakistan Fights Terror”]
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Following attacks in Bangladesh and Turkey last month, ISIS displayed another show of power this week by carrying out separate attacks in Iraq and Saudi Arabia which resulted in killing of dozens of people. A car bombing ripped through a busy Baghdad shopping district that killed more than 250 people and wounded several others. This is considered the deadliest suicide attack in years of war in the country. The blast took place as the area was packed with shoppers ahead of Eid holiday. The group said the blast targeted members of Iraq’s Shia majority, whom they consider heretics. Earlier in May, Baghdad was rocked by a series of blasts that killed more than 150 people in seven days.
Meanwhile over in Saudi Arabia three bomb blasts took place in different cities. In Madina at least five people were killed when a blast took place outside the Prophet’s Mosque, the second-holiest site in Islam. The bomber detonated his device as people inside the mosque were breaking their fast. Two other bombers blew themselves up earlier in Shia-dominated Qatif, on the Gulf coast. Another suicide bomber detonated his explosives earlier near the US consulate in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, injuring two security officers. IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had called for attacks on Saudi Arabia, which is taking part in the US-led coalition bombing the militants in Syria and Iraq.
Saudi officials said investigations following the attacks led to the arrests of 19 suspects including seven Saudi and 12 Pakistani nationals.
Saudi Arabia also identified the suicide bomber who struck outside the US Consulate in Jeddah as a Pakistani resident of the kingdom who had arrived 12 years ago to work as a driver. Meanwhile Pakistan has condemned attacks and expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia.
Nation mourned as Pakistan’s celebrated humanitarian and Edhi Foundation Chairman Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away at the age of 92 in Karachi this week. Edhi, known as a ‘servant of humanity’ ran the world’s largest private ambulance network. He was revered for setting up maternity wards, morgues, orphanages, shelters and homes for the elderly across Pakistan.
Edhi was given state funeral and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a day of national mourning in his honour. According to media reports, more than one million people attended Edhi’s funeral. Civil and military leadership was also present to pay homage to Edhi at Karachi’s national stadium. Among those who attended the funeral were President Mamnoon Hussain, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, the chief ministers of Sindh and Punjab and other national politicians, notables and servicemen. Edhi’s coffin, wrapped in Pakistan’s national flag, was carried on a military jeep and was given guard of honour and a 21-gun salute.
Pictures and media footage showed Army Chief Raheel Sharif and Edhi’s son Faisal saluting the coffin as it was carried by soldiers. Edhi was buried in village near Karachi’s main National Highway, which Edhi himself had selected as a place for his grave 25 years ago.
Edhi opened his first medical clinic in 1951 and over the years he created a charitable empire out of nothing. He ran Pakistan’s largest welfare organisation single-handedly with private donations and was nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was also awarded with several other international and national awards in recognition of his services for humanity. Edhi also wished to donate all his body organs after death, however due to his age he could only donate his corneas.
A US delegation comprised of senators visited North Waziristan this week to witness Pakistan army’s efforts and successful military operation against terror groups. According to media reports, a delegation of US senators raised some questions about Pakistan’s war on terror during their meeting with Army Chief Raheel Sharif. In response, the army chief invited them to visit the Miranshah area of North Waziristan and see the gains made by the Pakistan Army by themselves.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of the Pakistan Army, Senator John McCain, chairman of the Arms Services Committee of the US Senate, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Joe Donnelly went to North Waziristan Agency on Sunday and visited the areas cleared of terrorists under the Operation Zarb-e-Azb. After seeing the deserted hideouts and communication infrastructure of the militants, the delegation was highly appreciative of Pakistan Army’s accomplishments from North Waziristan up to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. They also admitted that Pakistan is targeting all terrorist groups indiscriminately, including the Haqqani Network, and that the successes of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb are exemplary.
Meanwhile Pakistan also expressed the need peaceful relations with Afghanistan as Pakistan Army Chief Raheel Sharif has said that Pakistan will make all efforts to protect the integrity and sovereignty of Afghanistan, but it expects the same level of commitment from the neighbouring country. He also said that border management and repatriation of Afghan refugees were important enablers for lasting peace.
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