Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Bomb

Donkey Terrorists?

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Israel complains of Hamas donkey-terrorists.

Reuters / Abed Omar Qusini

Palestinian militant movement Hamas has launched several attacks at Israeli forces involving donkeys carrying explosives, the IDF complained. The practice doesn’t seem to be efficient, as Israelis can simply gun down the animals from a distance.

The latest such incident happened on Friday in the Rafah area, the IDF reported Saturday.

“A donkey suspiciously began to approach forces. The forces engaged the donkey and it exploded at a safe distance, whereas no injuries were sustained by the IDF as a result,” the Israeli report said.

“Sending an animal to its death to serve terrorist purposes may seem shocking, but last night certainly wasn’t the first time Palestinian terrorists adopted this despicable tactic,” the IDF said.

Animals, and particularly donkeys, have been participants of insurgencies across the turbulent Middle East for decades, although they are usually used to pull carts with explosives – a cheap version of a car bomb – rather than clad in bombs.

One memorable example happened in January 2003, when a donkey with a bomb strapped to it was left on a road between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Gush Etzion. The bomb was later remotely detonated, but no humans were hurt. The incident caused PETA to call on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to keep animals out of the conflict, which some activists called a publicity stunt that disregarded the loss of human life in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Not only insurgent groups, but also governments explored the use of animal bombs for warfare. The US considered turning pigeons and bats into flying bombs and Soviet Union actually trained dogs to carry explosives to Nazi German tanks during World War II.

The latter program was abandoned, presumably due to low efficiency compared to conventional anti-tank weapons, which became available in larger quantities in the later years of the war. The dog trainers switched to training much more needed mine sniffers for engineers and sledge dogs for medics.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 19, 2014 at 21:36

Blast Hits Catholic Church in Northern Tanzania

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A suspected bomb blast struck a Catholic church in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha on Sunday, police said, wounding a number of people.

Sectarian tensions have been simmering in east Africa’s second biggest economy after two Christian leaders were killed in the predominantly Muslim islands of Zanzibar earlier this year and there have been attacks on Muslim leaders and mosques.

“Some kind of explosion went off at the church. It is believed to have been a bomb but we don’t know what type of bomb it was,” Tanzania police spokesperson Advera Senso said.

Senso could not confirm if anyone had been killed in the attack or how many had been wounded.

Tanzania’s foreign affairs minister Bernard Membe said in a message on Twitter he was “deeply shocked” by the explosion.

President Jakaya Kikwete has warned about rising religious tensions in several televised addresses.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

May 6, 2013 at 10:08

Names of South Africans Killed in Kabul Suicide Bombing Released

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They were apparently mistaken for Americans…

The names of the eight South Africans killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, have been released by the department of international relations and co-operation.

Times Live reports:

“The Department has consulted with the families of the deceased and hereby releases their names with permission from their families,” said spokesman Nelson Kgwete in a statement on Wednesday.

The victims were:

— Christian Johannes Justus Pretorius, 30, from Pretoria, Gauteng

— Fraser Angus Carey, 31, from Johannesburg, Gauteng

— Brandon Quinn Booth, 47, from Balgowan, KwaZulu-Natal

— Johan Abraham van Huyssteen, 31, from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

— Johan Frederick Bouchaud, 30, from Johannesburg, Gauteng

— Johannes Judenis Humphries, 65, from Centurion, Gauteng

— Steven Leong, 31, from Johannesburg, Gauteng

— Jenny Margaret Ayris, 46, from Scotland in the United Kingdom

The department was working with the private aviation company that employed the victims and Afghanistan authorities, and was rendering consular assistance to the families.

“This includes arrangements for the repatriation of the mortal remains of the deceased,” said Kgwete.

The government expressed its deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those killed and condemned the use of violence.

“The South African government believes in peaceful means to settle disputes and/or conflicts and we strongly condemn the use of violence, particularly violence targeted at innocent civilians.”

This is very distressing. Deep condolences go to their families and loved ones. May Almighty God give them the fortitude to bear the tragic loss…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 19, 2012 at 22:20

Eight South Africans Confirmed Dead in Kabul Attack

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SABC news:

Eight South Africans died in a suicide bomb attack which killed 12 in Kabul in Afghanistan this morning, the foreign ministry said.

“Our mission in Islamabad in Pakistan, which is also accredited in Afghanistan, has informed us that eight South Africans were among the dead in the explosion which occurred in Kabul early this morning,” foreign affairs spokesman Nelson Kgwete told AFP.

“They worked for a private aviation company,” he added.

The group were all believed to be men, Kgwete said.

“Our mission in Islamabad is working on the identity of the men and contacting their next of kin.”

Tuesday’s attack by a woman suicide bomber was the deadliest single attack claimed to avenge a US film that has sparked a week of bloody protests across the Muslim world.

More than 30 people have now been killed in the violent backlash over a YouTube trailer for the film “Innocence of Muslims”.

UPDATE:  The names of the South Africans killed in Kabul by a suicide bombing have been released here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 18, 2012 at 12:05

Nigerian Christians Warn of Religious War

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Another Sudan?

(Reuters) – Northern Nigerian Christians said on Tuesday they feared that a spate of Christmas Day bombings by Islamist militants that killed over two dozen people could lead to a religious war in Africa’s most populous country.

The warning was made in a statement by the northern branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), an umbrella organization comprising various denominations including Catholics, Protestant and Pentecostal churches.

But a powerful Muslim traditional ruler, the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar said after meeting the Nigerian president in Abuja on Tuesday that it was not a conflict between Muslims and Christians or between Islam and Christianity.

The Boko Haram Islamist sect, which aims to impose sharia Islamic law across Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the blasts, the second Christmas in a row it has caused carnage at Christian churches.

Saidu Dogo, secretary general for the CAN in Nigeria’s 19 northern provinces called on Muslim leaders to control their faithful, saying Christians will be forced to defend themselves against further attacks.

“We fear that the situation may degenerate to a religious war and Nigeria may not be able to survive one. Once again, ‘enough is enough!’,” Dogo said.

The attacks risk reviving tit-for-tat sectarian violence between the mostly Muslim north and the largely Christian south, which has claimed thousands of lives in the past decade.

Dogo said the CAN was calling on all Christians to continue respecting the law but to defend themselves when needed.

“We shall henceforth in the midst of these provocations and wanton destruction of innocent lives and property be compelled to make our own efforts and arrangements to protect the lives of innocent Christians and peace-loving citizens of this country,” Dogo said.


The most deadly attack killed at least 27 people in the St Theresa Catholic church in Madalla, a town on the edge of the capital Abuja, and devastated surrounding buildings and cars as faithful poured out of the church after Christmas mass…

More here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

December 27, 2011 at 18:39

Nigeria: Churches Bombed on Christmas Day

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Nigeria — Bomb attacks on churches during Christmas services and a suicide blast killed at least 35 people in Nigeria on Sunday amid spiralling violence claimed by Islamists.

A purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a bombing of the church outside the Nigerian capital and other violence which stoked fear and anger in Africa’s most populous nation.

Authorities have been seemingly unable to stop the attacks despite heavy-handed military crackdowns and claims of arrests of Boko Haram members.

One attack on Sunday saw a suicide bomber seek to ram a military convoy in front of a secret police building in the northeastern city of Damaturu, killing the bomber and three security agents.

The church blast outside the capital Abuja killed at least 30 people and degenerated into chaos after the explosion, with angry youths starting fires and threatening to attack a nearby police station.

Police shot into the air to disperse them and closed a major highway. Emergency officials called for more ambulances as rescuers sought to evacuate the dead and wounded, and calm later returned to the area.

In a swift response, a Vatican spokesman condemned that attack as an act of “blind hatred” which sought “to arouse and feed even more hatred and confusion.”

Britain condemned the “cowardly” attacks, with Foreign Secretary William Hague offering “condolences to the bereaved and injured.”

France, Italy and Germany also slammed the blasts.

Other attacks included a bomb blast outside an evangelical church in the central city of Jos, that killed a policeman, according to a spokesman for the governor.

Another explosion targeted a church in the northeastern area of Gadaka on Christmas Eve, but no one was reported killed, while two other blasts hit the northeastern city of Damaturu on Christmas Day, including the suicide bombing.

Emergency officials initially said the blast outside Abuja happened in the church, but later said it occurred near it, with the impact felt inside the church, which was also damaged.

Holes could be seen in the wall of the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla and the roof was badly damaged. What looked to be blood was splashed on the outside of the wall.

A number of cars were destroyed and badly damaged outside from what looked to be a powerful blast.

“What we counted, we church officials, was 30 that was dead here,” Francis Aniezue, a rector at the church, told AFP.

Father Christopher Barde told AFP that the explosion happened as the Christmas morning service was ending.

“As I reached the last entrance, some people met me for blessings and suddenly I heard a bomb blast. It was really terrible,” he said…

More on this terrible evil here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

December 25, 2011 at 22:04

‘Underwear Bomber’: Judge Me by the Quran

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The Detroit Free Press reports:

The so-called underwear bombing suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009, has a new request: Let me out of here.

In a court filing Thursday, Abdulmutallab asked a federal judge to release him from prison, claiming he’s being “unjustly detained” by the American government.

“(A)ll Muslims should only be ruled by the law of the Quran,” Abdulmutallab wrote.

In a separate, handwritten court filing, the Nigerian national also wrote that “excessive force” was used to restrain him Wednesday after he assaulted several officers from his cell “in defense of Muhammad.”

Abdulmutallab asked the court to order that no excessive force be used on him.

The requests are part of a growing list of complaints that Abdulmutallab has had with the justice system since he was arrested …

The case is set for trial Oct. 4.

Authorities have said that Abdulmutallab is an al-Qaida operative trained in Yemen for the suicide mission, which was foiled when a passenger subdued Abdulmutallab. He is facing numerous charges, including conspiracy to commit terrorism.

The ‘law of the Quran’… Terror and violence.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 26, 2011 at 17:53

Posted in Culture

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