In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

All Asia Pacific

Feb27

Philippines: Extremists release video of beheading of German hostage

By: RFE/RL Source: RFE/RL Militants in the Philippines have released a video showing the beheading of a German hostage. Jurgen Kantner was abducted from his yacht off Malaysia in November. A deadline set by the militants for a ransom payment equivalent to about $600,000 expired on February 26. The brief video released by the Abu Sayyaf militant group on February 27 was circulated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist websites. The footage shows the 70-year-old Kantner being beheaded by a group of masked men using a curved knife. Presidential adviser Jesus Dureza confirmed Kantner’s death and condemned what he called a “barbaric” execution. Dureza said...

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Feb24

Pakistan: Lahore blast not terrorism but gas leak

By: RFE/RL Source: RFE/RL Police in Pakistan now say that an explosion in Lahore that killed seven people on February 23 was caused by a gas leak and was not a terrorist attack. Authorities said on February 24 that the explosion was “an accident” and that there were no indications of explosives. Earlier, numerous officials sources had said with certainty that the incident was a terrorist attack. Punjab provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah blamed the error on chaos following the incident and suggested a need for new procedures on communicating with the media in emergencies. The explosion caused panic in the city, which was the scene of an attack just 10 days previously that...

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Feb16

Pakistan: Over 70 dead as ISIS claims responsibility for shrine massacre

By: RFE/RL Source: RFE/RL A senior Pakistani police official says the death toll from an ISIS suicide bombing on February 16 at a crowded Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan has risen to 72 people, with more than 100 others wounded. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif immediately condemned what he described as an attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar — a Sufi philosopher and poet who has a shrine built in his honor at the site of his tomb in the town of Sehwan Sharif in the southern province of Sindh. Senior police officer Shabbir Sethar said from a local hospital in Sehwan Sharif, that “at least 72 are dead and over 150 have been wounded,” many of them seriously. Sethar said the death...

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