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Pearl Continental hotel bombing
Location Peshawar, Pakistan
Date 9 June 2009
Attack type bombing
Death(s) at least 17[1]
Injured at least 46
Perpetrator(s) Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan [2]


The Pearl Continental hotel bombing occurred on 9 June 2009 in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 17 people were killed and at least 46 people injured. The blast occurred at the five-star Pearl Continental hotel in the city. The force of the explosion caused the hotel to partially collapse.[3] The United States had planned to purchase this hotel to convert it to a consulate.[4][5]

Malik Naveed, a provincial police chief, stated that at least 11 people had died but that the death toll was likely to rise.[6 ] At least 46 others have been injured.[6 ] Other sources gave tolls of 16[7] and 18[8]. It was further reported on 10 June that the official death toll had reached 17 as six more bodies were recovered from the debris of the damaged portion of the hotel.[1]

Contents

Bombing

Different reports gave different accounts of the bombing. These included reports of a double-car bomb, truck bomb, suicide bomber and a combined gunman-suicide attack.[9][10] The bomb ignited a large fire, which spread throughout the hotel. In addition, gunshots continued after the bombing.[10] The bomb also damaged "dozens" of vehicles.[11]

Witnesses and one security official have since stated that the perpetrators travelled to the hotel in a delivery pick-up vehicle.[6 ] They stormed the hotel, firing several shots before the explosion, described as "a big bomb" by a police spokesperson, which led to a fire engulfing the hotel. [12] According to police official Shafqat Malik, "More than 500 kg (1,100 lb) of explosive material was used in the blast."[9]

Most of the foreigners caught in the blast were working with aid agencies helping internally displaced persons.[13] An official of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from Serbia, Aleksandar Vorkapić, was among those killed;[14][15] a Filipino employee of UNICEF also died.[16] Three UN employees from Germany, Somalia, and the UK were wounded.[17] It has been reported that four personnel of Xe (Blackwater) were killed in the blast.[18]

Casualties

Journalists have claimed that some of the injured are from outside Pakistan.[19 ] Hospital officials have also stated that there are victims from outside the country.[6 ] One doctor said, "We have received 46 injured people including five foreigners."[9]

Responsibility

A little-known Pakistani militant group, Fedayeen al-Islam, told the BBC it had carried out the attack with the aim of stopping interference by the United States in Pakistan.[20] However on 11 June 2009, a previously unknown group calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Shaheed Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the attack was in response to attacks by Pakistani military forces on Taliban insurgents in the Swat Valley.[21]

Aftermath

Immediately after the blast the United Nations decided to pull its staff from Peshawar, prompting fears about the fate of 2 million internally displaced people who have fled the fighting in the Swat Valley.[22] UNHCR and Pakistani authorities were accused of negligence after failure to transport the body of the officials who were killed in the accident which caused the cancellation of the funeral. UNHCR responded that they are doing everything in their power to solve this issue but that there were unexpected problems.[23]

Response

  •  PhilippinesThe Philippines condemned the bombing, which claimed the lives of 11 people, including a Filipino woman. “This senseless terrorist attack on innocent civilians is an unspeakable crime and can never be justified! The Philippine Government affirms its commitment to working with the UN system and Member States in ensuring that this principle is observed," said Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo. [25]
  •  Serbia – Vesna Petković, a spokesman for the UNHCR Serbia, said, "The High Commissioner for Refugees representation in Serbia is deeply distressed at the loss of our colleague Aleksandar Vorkapić, who lost his life in the senseless bombing of the hotel in Peshawar, where he was temporarily placed".[26]
  •  United Kingdom - A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm that one British man has been injured. He is in hospital. We are offering consular assistance." He added: "The UK condemns unreservedly all such acts of indiscriminate terrorism."[27]
  •  United Nations – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was quoted as saying 'The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms today's terrorist attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar.'[28]
  •  European Union - EU president Czech Republic condemned the attack saying "No cause can justify such acts"[29]
  •  China - Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said "China strongly condemns the terrorist attack and extends its deep condolences to the victims and their families." [30]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Manzoor Ali Shah. "Peshawar PC blast death toll reaches 17" Daily Times, 11 June 2009
  2. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090613/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan
  3. ^ "Pakistan hotel shattered by blast". BBC News. 2009-06-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8092147.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  
  4. ^ Pakistan: Massive hotel bomb further erodes security, Christian Science Monitor, 2009-06-09
  5. ^ Suicide bomber attacks Pakistani hotel U.S. was to buy, The Miami Herald, 2009-06-09
  6. ^ a b c d "Pakistan hotel explosion kills 11". RTÉ. 2009-06-09. http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0609/pakistan.html. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  
  7. ^ Death toll rises in Peshawar luxury hotel suicide blast
  8. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8092556.stm Search for Pakistan blast victims]
  9. ^ a b c Ali, Lehaz (2009-06-09). "Eleven dead as truck bomb rips through Pakistan luxury hotel". AFP. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hp9PwzsG_q6DTSfbg0Ubsptguygw. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  
  10. ^ a b Kennedy, Helen (2009-06-09). "Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan, explodes terrorist bombing". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/06/09/2009-06-09_pakistan_luxury_hotel_in_peshawar_blown_up_by_terorrists_state_dept_had_planned_.html. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  
  11. ^ "Bomb Blast Kills 11 at Hotel in NW Pakistan". Voice of America. 2009-06-09. http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-06-09-voa40.cfm. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  
  12. ^ "At least five dead in Pakistan hotel bomb blast". Irish Independent. 2009-06-09. http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/world-news/asia/at-least-five-dead-in-pakistan-hotel-bomb-blast-1767637.html. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  
  13. ^ Bombed hotel may have to be rebuilt, The News International, 2009-06-10
  14. ^ UNHCR official killed in PC explosion, Geo TV, 2009-06-10
  15. ^ Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, United Nations, 2009-06-09
  16. ^ Death toll rises in Peshawar luxury hotel suicide blast
  17. ^ Death toll rises in Peshawar luxury hotel suicide blast
  18. ^ US Blackwater-Xe mercenaries spreads fear in Pakistani town (Feature)
  19. ^ "Lethal blast hits Pakistani hotel". BBC News. 2009-06-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8092147.stm. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  
  20. ^ Suicide attack on Pakistani hotel, BBC, 2009-06-09
  21. ^ New groups takes credit for Pakistan blast, United Press International, 2009-06-11
  22. ^ UN evacuates employees from Peshawar, Financial Times, 2009-06-10
  23. ^ Skandalozno ponašanje UNHCR-a: Telo Srbina još u Pakistanu
  24. ^ Foreigners among dead in Pakistan hotel blast, The Telegraph, 2009-06-10
  25. ^ Philippines condemns terrorist attack in Pakistan hotel,
  26. ^ Građanin Srbije poginuo u Pakistanu
  27. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6467987.ece
  28. ^ Ban Ki-moon condemns 'terrorist' attack on luxury Peshawar hotel, France 24, 2009-06-10
  29. ^ EU condemns terrorist attack in Pakistan, Xinhua News Agency, 2009-06-11
  30. ^ China strongly condemns terror bombing in Pakistan, Xinhua News Agency, 2009-06-11

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