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A tale of two bombings (OK, three)
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/29/2016 10:28:23

Good Morning.

We interrupt our regularly-scheduled blog for this special observation.

One week ago today, terrorists attacked the Brussels airport and the Maelbeek metro station downtown. So far, 35 known victims have died, and over 300 more were injured.


Of course, the European and American media went into a feeding frenzy, and for the most part it's been headline news for the ensuing seven days.

But just three days later, on March 25, another ISIS bomber blew himself up at a soccer match, and killed even more people. You probably never even heard of this one, since it happened in Iskanderiyah (outside Baghdad) and killed mostly young Muslim men and boys.


At least 41 people were killed and 105 wounded when a teenage ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up at a small soccer stadium in the Iraqi city of Iskanderiyah, less than 30 miles south of Baghdad. The attack targeted the crowd watching an amateur soccer match on Friday evening in the mixed Sunni and Shiite town, and the city’s mayor, who was presenting awards to the soccer players at the time of the bombing, was among those killed. The BBC also reports that 17 of the dead were boys between the ages of 10 and 16. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack using its social media channels, according to the SITE extremist monitoring group.

At least 41 people were killed and 105 wounded when a teenage ISIS suicide bomber blew himself up at a small soccer stadium in the Iraqi city of Iskanderiyah, less than 30 miles south of Baghdad. The attack targeted the crowd watching an amateur soccer match on Friday evening in the mixed Sunni and Shiite town, and the city’s mayor, who was presenting awards to the soccer players at the time of the bombing, was among those killed. The BBC also reports that 17 of the dead were boys between the ages of 10 and 16. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack using its social media channels, according to the SITE extremist monitoring group. Amateur video captured the moment of the blast:

The Associated Press notes that analysts and members of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition believe attacks of this type may proliferate, both inside Iraq and abroad, as the militant group continues to lose ground to Iraqi forces in the country’s North and West. Iraqi ground troops are also planning to try and retake the largest ISIS-held city, Mosul.


I knew this had happened, but it was the striking contrast this past weekend that led to this blog; the Sunday Globe featured many pages, including the front page above the fold, on the Brussels bombing. The Iraq bombing merited a couple of paragraphs on page 7 that day.

But that's not all. You might have heard of this one, primarily because the victims were Christians in a mostly Muslim country. On Easter Sunday, in the largest of the three attacks enumerated today, the Taliban carried out an attack in a public park in Lahore, Pakistan that killed more than 70 - about the same as the other two attacks combined.


Families of the victims killed in a massive suicide bombing targeting Pakistani Christians in Lahore have started burying their relatives as a nationwide three-day mourning period began.

The funerals on Monday followed the attack at a park in Pakistan's second largest city a day earlier, aimed at killing members of the Christian minority gathered on Easter Sunday.

At least 70 people were killed, with many having succumbed to their wounds on Monday. Hundreds were also wounded, officials said. Most victims were women and children.

The bombing was claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, that has before publicly supported the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

Even though Sunday's bombing targeted mainly Christians, most of those killed in Lahore were Muslims, who were also in the park on Easter Sunday.

Of the dead, at least 14 have been identified as Christians, according to Lahore Police Superintendent Mohammed Iqbal. Another 12 bodies have not yet been identified, he said.

In response, Pakistan says it will launch a special paramilitary crackdown in Punjab, the country's richest and most populous province.

The offensive would give paramilitary Rangers extraordinary powers to conduct raids and interrogate suspects similar to those the Rangers have used for more than two years in the southern city of Karachi, a senior security official based in Lahore told the Reuters news agency, on the condition of anonymity.

The suicide bomber detonated himself just metres away from children's rides in the Gulshan-i-Iqbal park, or Garden of Iqbal, of Allama Iqbal Town. The park is named after Sir Muhammed Iqbal, a prominent Pakistani poet and philosopher who died in Lahore in 1938.

Sahil Pervez, 11, was among those killed.

His uncle Aftab Gil, speaking at the child's funeral, said: "The government of Punjab had no security arrangements for the parks or even today here in this church.

"If they deploy some security they are so lazy, so now this is our request from our government and especially from the prime minister, who he should take personal interest to finish this terrorism in this country."


Even this morning, while looking up stories to put this together, the contrast is quite clear. Google returned many links about the Pakistan bombing, including several from Fox Gnus leading with the headline "Christians Killed in attack...". There's already an entire Wiki page dedicated to the Brussels attack. But only a couple of scraps appeared on the Baghdad bombing - not even the BBC or Al-Jazeera.

Do All Lives Matter? or is it only Europeans or Christians that get all the attention when there is terrorism anywhere in the world?

19 comments (Latest Comment: 03/29/2016 18:46:17 by Mondobubba)
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