ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Twelve people were killed and 35 were wounded Friday morning in a suicide bombing at a western Pakistan hospital, authorities said. The attack occurred at Civil Hospital in the city of Quetta, police said.
Among the dead were four police officers and a TV cameraman, authorities said. Police found the head of the suicide bomber and he appears to around 20 years old.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned militant group in Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for the suicide blast, according to group spokesman Ali Sher Haideri. FULL POST
Medivac flights out of Afghanistan and Iraq are now being re-routed from their usual landing point at Ramstein Air Base in Germany where flight operations are shut down due to the volcano in Iceland, according to several U.S. military officials.
All medivac flights are now being diverted to fly directly to Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. Medivac flights generally leave Afghanistan and Iraq and stop at Ramstein where patients are transferred to the U.S. military hospital at Landstuhl for follow-up on trauma care and stabilization.
Officials say at least one medivac flight is now scheduled to land at Andrews on Saturday on a direct flight from the warzone. It will have to be refueled in mid-air because of the long distance involved. Officials say medical care for the wounded will not be impacted by the change.
Earlier, the U.S. Air Force said that two bases in England, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, will be shut down for at least two days. That means dozens of U.S. Air Force F-15s and other fighter jets and tankers are not flying, and flights to Iraq and Afghanistan flying through that airspace are being diverted to other routes.
Zieba Shorish-Shamley offers a history lesson to people who say a peace settlement with the Taliban in Afghanistan is possible.
She asks them to remember how the Taliban massacred thousands of Afghans, beat women who walked alone in public, stoned to death women accused of adultery and tried to bend everyone to their fanatical form of Islam.
That is how she remembers life under the Taliban. Only force can stop the leaders of such a brutal movement, says Shorish-Shamley, a native of Afghanistan.
In early May, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan government will invite a group of people, including tribal elders and parliament members, to discuss ways to reconcile with the Taliban.
“The leaders of the Taliban are not going to come around,” says Shorish-Shamley, founder and director of the Women's Alliance for Peace and Human Rights in Afghanistan.
“Do you think Hitler and the rest of the Nazis would have come to the table to negotiate not killing innocent Jews and invading everyone else’s country?”
Shorish-Shamley takes her cues on dealing with the Taliban from World War II. But some look to other examples from history and get another message: peace is possible in Afghanistan if leaders learn from other countries that found a way forward after years of internal warfare. FULL POST