RT News

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Libya says 147 dead in week of southern tribal clashes

31 Mar 2012 18:35

Source: reuters // Reuters

* Prime minister says new ceasefire agreed

* Week of clashes between tribes in southern city

* Fighting underlines Libya's fragility after Gaddafi

By Hadeel Al Shalchi

TRIPOLI, March 31 (Reuters) - A week of fighting between rival tribes deep in Libya's south has killed 147 people, the government said on Saturday, but it said it had brokered a fresh ceasefire agreement between the two sides.

The clashes in the desert oasis city of Sabha were between members of the Tibu ethnic group, many of whom are originally from neighbouring Chad, and local militias from Sabha.

The fighting underlines the fragility of the government's grip on Libya over six months after a revolt ended Muammar Gaddafi's rule, as well as the volatility of a country awash with weapons left over from the rebellion.

Minister of Health Fatima al-Hamroush said on Saturday that 147 people had been killed and 395 injured since the clashes broke out a week ago.

She said the government had sent 20 cars filled with medical supplies to the Sabha region and had transported 187 people from both sides of the clashes to Tripoli for medical care.

Interim prime minister Abdurrahim El-Keib told reporters a truce was now in force. The government has previously announced ceasefires over the past few days but these have collapsed.

The prime minister said a delegation including the ministers of interior, defence and health travelled to Sabha this week to broker the peace deal.

"We are pained for the south and we are sorry that the clashes reached this stage," said El-Keib. "The government is working to solve this problem. We have reached a cease fire agreement."

There are historical tensions in Libya's south between tribes who see themselves as indigenous to the country and others - such as the Tibu - who many Arab Libyans view as outsiders with roots in other parts of Africa.

In Sabha, a small-scale personal dispute ignited the underlying tensions. These quickly escalated, helped by the fact that many civilians in Libya have weapons which were looted from Gaddafi's arsenals during the rebellion.

The ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) is still struggling to assert its authority across Libya, where rival militias and tribal groups are jostling for power and resources following Gaddafi's fall.

The council is hampered by the lack of a coherent national army and has struggled to persuade the myriad militias who fought Gaddafi to put down their guns and join the national armed forces and police.

Last month dozens of people were killed in days of clashes between tribes in the far southeastern province of Al Kufra. Armed forces eventually intervened to stop the fighting in a rare example of the Tripoli government imposing its authority.

Members of the Tibu ethnic group were also involved in the fighting in Kufra.
(Editing by Christian Lowe and Ben Harding)

Exclusive: Brazil prosecutor plans wider offshore oil probe

Fri, Mar 30 18:23 PM EDT
1 of 2

By Sabrina Lorenzi

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A Brazilian federal prosecutor plans to expand his investigation of a November offshore oil spill in a field run by Chevron to areas operated by other companies in the country's main oil region.

The probe will explore geological conditions and operational practices in the Campos Basin in an attempt to prevent future accidents, said Eduardo Santos de Oliveira, federal prosecutor for Campos, Brazil, the city for which the offshore oil province is named.

The biggest operator in the Campos Basin is Petrobras, Brazil's state-led oil company, which operates 39 of the 47 producing fields in the region, according to Brazil's oil regulator, the ANP.

"Now that the working environment has been created (by the Chevron spill), let's promote this debate and use the official investigation tools to try to understand this situation, including for preventative reasons," Santos de Oliveira told Reuters.

Santos in November launched a 20-billion-real ($10.9 billion) civil-environmental lawsuit against California-based Chevron and its drilling contractor Transocean. Earlier this month he filed criminal charges against Chevron, Transocean and 17 of their employees. The crimes alleged by the criminal case carry sentences of up to 17 years in prison.

Chevron is the No. 2 U.S. oil producer.

Other companies with exploration or production operations in the Campos Basin include Anglo-Dutch Shell, Brazil's OGX Petroleo, Spain's Repsol YPF, Denmark's Maersk Oil and UK-based BP.

The Frade field, operated and 52 percent owned by Chevron, is close to some of the largest oilfields in Brazil, including Marlim Sul, Roncador and Marlim, all 100 percent owned and operated by Petrobras.

The region is known to contain sub-sea rock that is porous and prone to cracking. If not covered with a natural seal that stops oil flow, petroleum can seep through it naturally to the seabed and then bubble to the surface.

"The Campos Basin is prone to natural seeps that can stain the ocean," said Cleveland Jones, a geologist at the National Oil Institute at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. "That, in fact, is one of the reasons that geologists knew that there was a good chance of finding oil there in the first place."

Such natural seeps are even more common in the Gulf of Mexico, Jones said. Most natural spills are broken up by wave and tide action and oil-eating bacteria.


The porous and fragile rock is believed to have been a contributing factor to the November leak in the Frade field. Chevron said oil seeped from a crack in the bore of an exploratory well and worked its way through the rock to the seabed and then ocean surface.

About 3,000 barrels leaked in the accident, less than 0.1 percent of the 4.9-million-barrel BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. None of it reached shore and an ANP official told Congress in March that the Frade spill caused no discernible environmental damage.

Chevron and Transocean say the criminal and civil charges are excessive, they have committed no crimes and acted according to accepted industry practice.

Petrobras also has a 30 percent minority stake in Frade, while a Japanese group led by Inpex and Sojitz owns 18 percent.

Chevron, with the agreement of its partners, asked for and received permission to stop production temporarily at Frade after discovering unexplained leaks in the field in early March.

Oil leaks were also found in 2004 at Petrobras' Marlim Sul field. Marlim Sul's production of 300,000 barrels a day makes it Brazil's top-producing field.

Petrobras said studies suggested the Marlim leak probably resulted from "the existence of natural faults and fractures in the reservoir where the oil migrated to the sea floor".

Santos says the Frade accident gives his federal prosecutors office, known as the Public Ministry, a chance to fulfill its constitutional role as an independent arbiter of government and economic activity.

"Whenever you have an accident of this type, it is normal that public agents concentrate on the accident to make those responsible take responsibility," he said. "But the recent accident is also an opportunity to seek to identify what is happening with the rest (of the area)."

(Writing and additional reporting by Jeb Blount in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Dale Hudson) ======================= Petrobras scandal shakes up Brazil's presidential race Sun, Sep 07 17:26 PM EDT image By Stephen Eisenhammer RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's October presidential race has been shaken up by a corruption scandal allegedly involving state-run oil firm Petrobras and dozens of lawmakers, with both leading candidates forced onto the defensive after colleagues were implicated. Media reported on Friday night that a jailed former Petrobras (PETR4.SA) director had named dozens of politicians who allegedly received kickbacks off the company's contracts. The revelations are a headache for President Dilma Rousseff, undermining her reputation for zero tolerance on corruption just as she is slipping in the polls ahead of the Oct. 5 election. It could also hamper opposition candidate Marina Silva. But the scandal has given third-placed Aecio Neves a fresh rallying call as he tries to claw back into the race. He is already on the offensive, branding the scandal "mensalao 2" in reference to the "mensalao," a vote-buying scheme in Congress that tainted former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva while he was in office. On Saturday, the magazine Veja printed the names of those implicated in the Petrobras scandal. Among them were former governor and presidential candidate Eduardo Campos, who died in a plane crash last month; the minister for energy and mines, Edison Lobão; the president of Congress' lower house, Henrique Eduardo Alves; and the Senate president, Renan Calheiros. Those allegedly involved in the scheme were said to have received a 3 percent kickback off the oil firm's contracts with third parties between 2004 and 2012. The money swapped hands in order to maintain political support between parties, Veja said. The names were given by Paulo Roberto Costa, former head of Petrobras' refining and supply unit, who was arrested in March as part of a police investigation into money laundering. Alves issued a statement denying receiving funds from Costa. Press aides for Lobão and Renan said they had no position yet on the issue, while officials at Petrobras were not immediately available for comment. Rousseff has always stressed her credentials as a no-nonsense manager, with development of Brazil's oil riches an important part of that image. She spoke to reporters in Sao Paulo on Saturday. "I assure you I will take the necessary action. But I will not act based on speculation, I want the details," she said. Expectations that the scandal would further boost Silva's candidacy are countered by the alleged involvement of Campos in the scheme. Silva, who was Campos' deputy, has spent her life campaigning against precisely the type of corruption outlined in the media reports. Support for Silva has surged in polls in recent weeks, and she is now seen winning a second-round runoff, helped by a mix of national grief over Campos' death and her promise of a new type of principled politics. "Petrobras is being destroyed through political interference, patronage and corruption," Silva told reporters in Sao Paulo on Sunday. Her deputy on the ticket, Beto Albuquerque, defended Campos and said his PSB party had asked for access to the police investigation into the alleged corruption. The one mainstream candidate not directly implicated in the scandal, Neves - currently running third in the polls - was quickly on the offensive. "There is a criminal organization operating within Petrobras," Neves said in an interview on Sunday, adding that Rousseff's Workers' Party had exploited the company to keep itself in power. "We have to end impunity in Brazil," he said. (Editing by Hugh Lawson and Paul Simao) ==================== Clean sweep needed to restore trust in Petrobras The state-controlled oil giant is mired in a corruption scandal and has seen its stock plunge over the past year. Nothing short of firing current management and appointing more independent directors will allow Petrobras, and really Brazil, to restore credibility with global markets. Jordanian MP Hind Al-Fayez: I'd Rather Set Myself on Fire than Sign Gas Deal with Israel In a recent TV interview, Jordanian MP Hind Al-Fayez said that a Jordanian-Israeli gas deal was tantamount to having "dealings with Satan." "I will use firewood or even set myself on fire, but I will never import Israeli gas," said Al-Fayez, who made headlines recently when a heated exchange in parliament went viral, bringing the issue of the Jordanian parliament's quota for women to the attention of Western media. The interview aired on the Jordanian/U.K. ANB channel on December 14.

Security breach hits U.S. card processors, banks

Fri, Mar 30 21:30 PM EDT

By Lauren Tara LaCapra and Carrick Mollenkamp

(Reuters) - The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a major cyber intrusion at an Atlanta-based payment processor that could expose millions of MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover cardholders to fraudulent charges.

Processor Global Payments Inc said on Friday it had found "unauthorized access" into its system early in March and notified law enforcement and financial institutions.

Payment network operators MasterCard Inc, Visa Inc, American Express Co and Discover Financial Services confirmed they were affected, along with banks and other franchises that issue cards bearing their logos.

A spokesman for the Secret Service said the agency is leading investigations into the case but declined to give any details.

Though Global Payments is far from a household name, middlemen such as the company are prized targets for hackers because of the vast amount of sensitive financial information they handle.

The company's stock fell more than 9 percent on the news before trading was halted. It said it would discuss the breach in a phone call for investors on Monday.

It was not immediately clear how Global Payments was penetrated or how many accounts were exposed. Consumers who detect fraud usually can be reimbursed. That leaves merchants on the hook financially, though they could file claims against Global Payments.

Analysts said MasterCard and Visa are unlikely to face costs from the breach, but MasterCard shares fell 1.8 percent to close at $420.54 and Visa shares dropped 0.8 percent to $118.

The security breach is just the latest in a long string of incidents that have put the personal information of millions of credit and debit cardholders at risk.

Individual banks and processors said they had not yet determined the full extent of the breach, but the blog Krebs on Security, which first reported the breach, said it was "massive" and could affect more than 10 million cardholders.

Some industry experts suggested the figure might be much lower, perhaps on the order of tens of thousands. Bernstein Research analyst Rod Bourgeois noted that Global Payments is a relatively small player in the transactions services industry, servicing 800,000 merchants with a 3.5 percent market share. By contrast, the largest competitor, First Data, services millions of merchants, with 22.6 percent of the market.

JPMorgan Chase & Co, as well as American Express and Discover, which issue their own cards, said they are monitoring customers' accounts and would issue new cards to anyone whose information may have been compromised.

Citigroup Inc said it has been notified by processors of the breach. Bank of America Corp declined to comment on the matter and Wells Fargo & Co said it was too early to comment on the impact.

Banks and processors emphasized customers would not be held liable for any fraudulent charges that may occur.

Michael Simonsen, chief executive of real-estate research company Altos Research, said he may have been a victim.

Simonsen said he was contacted by Bank of America last week about his Visa card. Although there were no unauthorized transactions, the representative told him a vendor or law enforcement agency had flagged his account as compromised and so he would receive a new one.

"It was very unusual,"
he said.


Global Payments, which has about 3,700 employees, was spun off from information-services firm National Data Corp in 2001. For the fiscal year ended May 31, Global Payment reported revenue of $1.9 billion, up 13 percent from the year-earlier period. According to a company presentation in January, it estimated fiscal 2012 revenue at about $2.15 billion.

Global Payments is scheduled to report fiscal third-quarter results on Wednesday and an improvement is expected. On Wednesday, Sterner Agee raised its stock price target for Global Payments to $65 from $58.

Global Payments is one of dozens of companies that operate along the payment-processing chain, between the time a person swipes a card to pay and the time the payment is delivered.

The account number, expiration date and possibly the cardholder's name is sent from the point of payment to a processor, which then connects to Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Information is then sent to the card issuer — often a bank — which ultimately authorizes the transaction.

The actual transfer of money occurs later.

Processing companies, which perform millions of authorizations each day, are supposed to encrypt card information. But a breach could occur if someone gains access to the system and identifies a gap in the encryption.

The information that was likely collected illegally from Global Payments is called Track 1 and Track 2 data. A person improperly using the information can transfer the account number and expiration date to a magnetic strip on a card and then try to use the card on a website.

Thousands of U.S. banks that issue credit and debit cards receive daily alerts regarding breaches, said Thomas McCrohan, an analyst with Jane Capital Markets.

The illegal use of the data could be stymied if an online merchant asks for the three or four digits printed on a card known as the "CV code."

"The systems can all be made tighter, but if they're too tight no transactions would ever be approved," said Edward Lawrence, a director at Auriemma Consulting Group, a payment systems consultant. "You still have to allow commerce to occur."

Rep. Mary Bono, a California Republican who chairs the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, condemned the Global Payments breach and urged Congress to adopt stronger data-security legislation this year.

"You shouldn't have to cross your fingers and whisper a prayer when you type in a credit card number on your computer and hit 'enter,'" she said in a statement.


The breach is the first major instance this year of consumer information put at risk by technological flaws or hacking, but there are plenty of examples of massive data breaches in recent years affecting banks, retailers, technology companies and payment processors.

Last June, Citigroup said computer hackers breached the bank's network and accessed data of about 200,000 cardholders in North America.

Sony Corp also reported several recent attacks, including one last year in which hackers accessed the personal information on 77 million PlayStation Network accounts.

Google Inc suffered a major attack on its Gmail accounts in 2011 that it said appeared to originate in China. Attacks against Gmail users involved direct attempts to compromise accounts by tricking users into revealing information - so-called "phishing" - or by gathering their passwords from other websites, rather than compromising Google systems, according to the company.

Separately, TJX Co Inc and Heartland Payment Systems Inc have had their systems compromised.

On Friday, retailers were already beginning to look for fraudulent purchases from the compromised card accounts stemming from the Global Payments breach. They will bear the financial brunt of those crimes under rules worked out with the card associations and issuers, analysts said.

"Our merchant community is sitting here girding itself and looking at their own fraud-prevention strategies and bracing for the influx of bad transactions," said Tom Donlea, managing director for the Americas at the nonprofit Merchant Risk Council. "After Heartland and after the Sony breach, there was an increase in fraud activity."

(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra, Carrick Mollenkamp and Jed Horowitz in New York, Joseph Menn in San Francisco, Ben Berkowitz in Boston, and Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina; writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Joseph Menn; editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Andre Grenon, Phil Berlowitz and Richard Chang)

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Sanghar oil and gas project needs fresh appraisal, says environment protection agency

By Z Ali
Published: March 31, 2012

Sinjhoro has 18 villages, lakes, wetlands and forests. PHOTO: FILE

HYDERABAD: Sindh’s environment watchdog authority has rejected an impact assessment report prepared by the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) for its new project in Sinjhoro, Sanghar.

The project involves the production of oil and gas from 15 wells spread over 102 acres. At least 18 villages are located in the area apart from farmland, water channels, wetlands, lakes, forest and fishing points. At a public hearing on the Sinjhoro exploration block on Thursday, the environment officials pointed out that the report did not offer information about population, any precise socio-economic impact, and what would be done to rehabilitate people from the villages if they were forced to leave. It did not adequately addressed the issues of health, education, agriculture and water, among others.

“Surprisingly, it says the environment officials were consulted but they weren’t,” said the protection agency’s Waqar Hussain Phulpoto during a question-answer session after the presentation. “It has also overlooked consultation with the departments of agriculture, fisheries, wildlife, forests, archaeology among others.”

Another protection agency official, Ajmal Khan, brought up the ill-advised choice to hold the public hearing at a hotel located too far away from the project. “Only a few locals could make it to the hearing and let their voice be heard,” he said.

Prof. Khan Muhammad Brohi of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) said the project was good as far as the production of oil and gas was concerned. “Yet we should not ignore the importance of the environment for sustainable development,” he said. He was surprised that while well over a hundred people attended the public hearing they did not seem to represent the local community.

The project’s area covers the Chautiari wetland complex with all its flora and fauna. Rice, wheat and sugarcane are grown in the area which is also home to several lakes.

The environment impact report acknowledged that transport, storage and the use of chemicals can have a poisonous effect on the soil. Surface and ground water will also be affected if during the rains the chemicals flow into the waterways. Then there is the socio-economic and cultural impact oil and gas wells have. “The social traditions of this area are like those in other parts of Sindh,” the report said. “The tradition of holding wedding ceremonies is the most important. A week before the wedding ceremony, the singing of folk songs begins.”

The environment officials asked the company to prepare another report which includes all the shortcomings that have been pointed out. They also sought a complete report about the environmental impact of OGDCL’s other projects in Sindh. OGDCL’s Nadeem Ahmed Ansari assured that they would comply but that there was a shortage of registered environmental consultants in the market. “The protection agency should also approve consultants in the province and recommend that their services be hired by companies,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2012.


Pipeline rupture: Leaked oil being thrown down stormwater drain
By Our Correspondent
Published: March 31, 2012

A rubber clamp affixed to repair an earlier leak probably eroded leading to the spill. DESIGN: CREATIVE COMMONS

KARACHI: The furnace oil that leaked from a pipeline in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) is being dumped in the residential stormwater drain, which is a conduit for waste to the sea.

National Refinery Limited (NRL) workers are using a pump to suck out oil from a 23-foot-long ditch and are pouring it into the drain, which is dry these days and filled with garbage.

“This is absolutely wrong. This is not the way,” said DHA spokesman Rafat Naqvi when approached for comment. “We didn’t know that the company was doing this.”

NRL officials were not available for comment. The 16-kilometre long pipeline, which carries furnace oil from the refinery in Korangi to Keamari’s oil terminal, passes through DHA. It developed a leak at Khayaban-e-Sehar.

The workers said that only 20 to 25 litres of furnace oil had come out. A pond of black liquid visible in the open ditch was actually water underneath, they said. “When mixed with water, oil has tendency to come to the surface, making it look like it’s all oil,” said a worker, as he threw a stone in the liquid to explain his point. The ripples cleared the oily surface to show water below.

But no one knows how much of the mixture has been dumped in the drain since Thursday night. Officials of Sindh’s environmental protection agency who had earlier visited the site had no idea how the mess was being cleaned up, inquires at its office revealed.

However, Barrister Mohammad Abdur Rahman, an environmental advocate, said dumping the oil in stormwater drains was illegal. “It will probably choke the drain,” he said.

The sludge created from sand mixing with the liquid has not been disposed of at a separate place either as advised by the agency. Workers at the site said the oil-soaked mud will be used to refill the ditch.

Cause of the leak

This was not the first time that the six-inch diameter pipeline leaked at the exact same spot. Oil emerged from a metal clamp, which was used before to mend the earlier rupture. “The clamp has rubbers to fix it over the pipe. The rubber burnt off, probably because of the heat, creating a cavity, from where the oil leaked,” said an NRL worker who did not give his name.

The NRL has decided not to use a clamp as a stopgap measure this time to mend the damaged part and is replacing the 80-foot-long part of the pipeline altogether, he said.


The leak has taken place near Nixor College at the Khayaban-e-Sehar intersection with 14th street. Even though NRL cordoned off all four sides leading to the site, people were still driving past the open ditch, some with lit cigarettes.

Nasurullah Khan, one of two security guards, deputed to prevent vehicles from crossing the cordoned off area, said that people threatened and abused him when he tried to do his job. “Educated people, dressed in suits and driving cars, are arguing with me. I try my best to stop them but then I am only a guard.” DHA’s vigilance staff were not at the site.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2012.

Iraq Shiite cleric: cancel Saddam-era UN sanctions

Associated PressAssociated Press – 14 hrs ago
BAGHDAD (AP) — An aide to Iraq's top Shiite cleric says Arab and international leaders should work to remove long-standing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said lifting the U.N. sanctions is essential for the country to gain full sovereignty, according to al-Sistani's representative, Ahmed al-Safi. He spoke during a Friday sermon in the holy city of Karbala.

Iraq has been pressing for the U.N. Security Council to cancel sanctions and more than 70 resolutions adopted after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq's deposed dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Commenting on the just-completed Arab League summit in Baghdad, Al-Safi said the ayatollah is pleased Iraq is opening up to the Arab world.

UPDATE 1-ConocoPhillips, India's ONGC in pact for shale gas exploration

Mergers News

Fri, Mar 30 10:45 AM EDT

* ONGC, ConocoPhillips may jointly bid for overseas shale gas assets

* India seen launching first shale gas licensing round by end-2013

MUMBAI, March 30 (Reuters) - India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp and U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips signed a pact on Friday to explore and develop shale gas assets and look for opportunities in deepwater exploration.

The agreement is for sharing technical expertise on shale gas explorations, but ONGC and ConocoPhillips could also jointly bid for shale gas assets overseas, the leading Indian oil and gas producer's chairman Sudhir Vasudeva told reporters.

India may launch the first shale gas licensing round by the end of next year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last week, after the government pushed back plans to unveil a policy on exploration of unconventional gas resources trapped in rocks.

"India has a lot of potential in shale gas. We want to exploit that with the technical expertise of ConocoPhillips," ONGC's Vasudeva said, adding the two companies will also explore opportunities in the U.S. and other countries.

ONGC does not see any financial benefit from the agreement in the near future, he said.

A lack of a policy framework and resource estimates have led to Indian companies turning their focus to shale gas assets overseas.

Another Indian oil and gas producer, Oil India Ltd is in talks with U.S.-based companies, including ConocoPhillips, to buy stake in shale gas assets in the U.S, the Indian state-run company's finance chief said in January.

Global energy majors have also been pushing to grab a slice of India's oil and gas reserves and gain exposure to surging demand in Asia's third-largest economy.

BP paid $7.2 billion last year to acquire 30 percent stake in 23 oil and gas blocks owned by India's Reliance Industries.

UK-listed miner Vedanta Resources has also bought a controlling stake in explorer Cairn India in a deal valued around $6 billion.

India, the world's fourth-largest oil importer, meets about 80 percent of its crude needs through overseas purchases. It is scouting for oil and gas assets abroad to meet demand in a fast-growing economy, and to feed its expanding refining capacity.

ONGC, which has been investing heavily to maintain output from its old fields, has said it aims to raise its crude oil production by 15 percent to 28 million tonnes, or 560,000 barrels per day (bpd), by March 2014.

Sharif Ali Bin Al-Hussein

Sharif Ali bin al-Hussein, born 1956, married woman from Karbala, **one son Faysal**

المطالب بإعادة الملكية إلى العراق: أريد العودة إلى بغداد لخدمة شعبي

الشريف علي بن الحسين لـ«الشرق الأوسط»: بعد مقتل العائلة المالكة العراقية لجأنا إلى السفارة السعودية والملك سعود أبرق الي السفير لحمايتنا
لندن: معد فياض
بعد انتهاء حرب تحرير الكويت قبل عشر سنوات ونصف السنة طرح مستقبل الرئيس العراقي صدام حسين ونظامه للنقاش داخل العراق وخارجه باتجاه تغييره واقامة نظام بديل. ودعا بعض العراقيين الى اعادة النظام الملكي الذي اطيح في يوليو (تموز) 1958. والتف هؤلاء حول الشريف علي بن الشريف الحسين الذي يتحدر من العائلة المالكة التي حكمت العراق بين عامي 1921 و .1958 فهو ابن الاميرة بديعة بنت الشريف علي خالة آخر ملوك العراق فيصل الثاني.

في لندن استقبلنا الشريف علي بتواضعه في شقته التي لا يمكن ان نطلق عليها تسمية «مترفة للغاية» بل هي شقة تكاد تكون اعتيادية في بناية تضم العديد من الشقق السكنية الاخرى. وما يجعل صالة الاستقبال في الشقة مميزة هي صور الملوك فيصل الاول وغازي وفيصل الثاني وخاله الامير عبد الاله الى جانب صور خالته الاميرة عالية والدة الملك فيصل الثاني ووالدته الاميرة بديعة وصورة والده الشريف الحسين بن علي. وهناك ايضا شعار المملكة العراقية السابق قبل ان يتحول العراق الى الحكم الجمهوري، والذي هو ايضا شعار «الحركة الملكية الدستورية» التي يرعاها الشريف علي بن الحسين.

* ما هو تاريخ ميلادكم واين؟

ـ انا من مواليد عام 1956 في بغداد.

* ما هي صلتكم بالعائلة العراقية المالكة؟

ـ الملك فيصل الاول، رحمه الله، ابن خالة والدي الشريف الحسين بن علي، وولي العهد الامير عبد الإله هو خالي والشريف علي هو جدي من ناحية والدي وايضا هو ابن عم الملك الحسين الاول وخال الملك فيصل الاول.اذن نحن اكثر قربا للعائلة المالكة في العراق من ناحية الاب والام، وكان جدي امير مكة كما ان والده كان اميرا لمكة سابقا في زمن الحكم العثماني وكان معينا من قبل السلطان عبد الحميد.

* هل انت الوحيد المتبقي من العائلة والاقرب للعرش في العراق؟

ـ لي شقيقان اكبر مني سنا وهما الشريف محمد والشريف عبد الله، وأنا الاصغر . وعندما فاتح مجاميع من العراقيين والدي بعد حرب الخليج الثانية عام 1991 بضرورة عودة الحكم الملكي للعراق والمطالبة بالعرش وان يرشح احد ابنائه لهذا المنصب اجتمعت العائلة ووقع الاختيار علي انا.

* من هي والدتكم؟

ـ والدتي الاميرة بديعة ، وهي ابنة الملك علي آخر ملوك الحجاز وخالة الملك فيصل الثاني وشقيقة الامير عبد الإله الذي كان وصيا على عرش العراق ووليا للعهد في ما بعد.

* عام 1958 عندما اغتيلت العائلة المالكة كان عمركم عامين، فما هي الذكريات التي سمعتها من عائلتك عن ذلك اليوم وكيف تم انقاذكم؟

ـ عندما صار الهجوم في 14 يوليو (تموز) عام 1958 على العائلة المالكة في قصر الرحاب ببغداد كنا في منزلنا في حي المنصور، قريبا من قصر الرحاب، ولم نكن مع بقية العائلة المالكة. سمعنا اولا اطلاق الرصاص والقصف على القصر، وحسب ما كان يروي والدي انه اتصل هاتفيا بالقصر وتحدث مع الملك فيصل الثاني الذي لم يكن يأخذ الامور على مبحث الجد حيث قال: المسألة بسيطة والوضع جيد وان هناك بعض الجنود لهم مطاليب ونحن نتفاوض معهم، وسأل والدي الملك فيما اذا كان بحاجة لأية مساعدة او حماية فقال الملك لا المسألة لا تتطلب ذلك. كان هذا آخر حديث بين الملك فيصل ووالدي. بعد ذلك جاء بعض الجنود الذين كانوا في قصر الرحاب الى بيتنا وهم يبكون قبل ان يخبروا والدي عن مقتل العائلة المالكة برمتها وطلبوا من والدي الهروب وانقاذ عائلته.

* وكيف تمكنتم من الفرار؟

ـ اول محاولة فكر بها والدي كانت عبور الصحراء الى الاردن ولكنه وجدها صعبة التنفيذ وقت ذاك، لهذا اخذ والدي العائلة ونمنا اول ليلة في بيت صديق له قبل ان نتوجه صباحا الى سفارة المملكة العربية السعودية ببغداد وبقينا هناك ثلاثة اسابيع في ضيافة السفير السعودي الذي كان قد تسلم برقية من الملك سعود رحمه الله وقال له ان حياتنا بمسؤوليته وطلب منه مساعدتنا، وصارت مفاوضات مع النظام الجديد بالسماح لنا بمغادرة العراق من غير ان يتعرضوا لنا وسمحوا لنا بذلك.وكان الكثير من العراقيين او حتى خارج العراق يتصورون اننا تعرضنا للقتل بسبب اختفاء اخبارنا طيلة الاسابيع الثلاثة التي امضيناها في السفارة. وهكذا نجونا بفضل الله تعالى ثم بفضل من الملك سعود.

* وهل ذهبتم الى الأردن؟

ـ لقد سمحوا لنا بالسفر الى مصر فقط وذهبنا الى هناك وبقينا شهرا واحدا لان والدي كان يخشى ان تصير وحدة بين العراق ومصر وقد نتعرض للاعتقال او التسليم للعراق او يحجز علينا في مصر. وتركنا مصر الى اوروبا ثم عدنا الى لبنان التي استقرت عائلتنا فيه.

* ألم تزر العراق في حياتك؟

ـ للاسف لم تتح لي الفرصة لتحقيق هذه الأمنية وحالتي مثل حال غالبية العراقيين الذين غادروا وطنهم وهم في انتظار العودة في يوم قريب. والآن هناك اجيال جديدة من العراقيين الذين لم تتح لهم فرصة مشاهدة بلدهم.

* وهل تشتاق للعراق؟

ـ بالتأكيد، فأنا بالرغم من اني لم اعش في العراق الا انني اعيش العراق في داخلي كل يوم، سواء من خلال العائلة او من خلال لقاءاتي مع العراقيين. واستطيع القول انني اعرف عن العراق الكثير وذلك من خلال لقاءاتي مع اطياف مختلفة من ابناء شعبنا في الخارج.

* هل تريدون العودة الى العراق كملك ام كمواطن اعتيادي؟

ـ هذا يعود لاختيار الشعب العراقي، اذا كان يريدني او يختارني كملك فسوف اكون مستعدا لخدمة شعبي وبلدي كملك، وان لم يكن هذا اختياره فسوف اعود كجندي لخدمة وطني.

* ما هي ذكريات والدتكم عن العراق؟

ـ تردد والدتي باستمرار ان العراقيين في السابق كانوا يعيشون حياة مستقرة وسعيدة، وان البساطة والصدق كانا سائدين في التعامل بين الناس، وكان هناك تقارب وثقة حتى انها عندما تصف العراق يخيل لي انها تصف بلدا آخر غير ما هو عليه الآن. وتقول ان العراقيين كانوا طموحين بأن يكون بلدهم متطورا في المستقبل لا سيما ان العراق هو اول دولة عربية دخلت عصبة الامم وفاضل الجمالي وزير الخارجية في العهد الملكي كان احد الموقعين على ميثاق الامم المتحدة. وتقول ان العراق كان دولة محترمة ومتقدمة وان العراقي عندما كان يسافر الى الخارج كان يفتخر بانه عراقي ويواجه باحترام الآخرين.

* ما هي ذكرياتها عن حياة العائلة المالكة في السابق؟

ـ كانت البساطة هي التي تسود حياتهم بحيث كان قصر الرحاب مفتوحا امام المواطنين. واذكر ان والدي قال انه تحدث مرة الى الملك فيصل الاول وقال له ان بين غرفة نومك وبين الشارع امتار قليلة وليس هناك من يحمي بوابة قصر الرحاب سوى جندي واحد فكيف تؤمن على حياتك؟ فاجابه الملك قائلا: وهل تريدني ان اخاف او احتاط من شعبي؟ وهل احتاج للحماية من الشعب العراقي؟.

* ما هو عمر والدتكم الآن؟

ـ عمرها 82 عاما وهي تتمنى زيارة العراق لكن الذكريات المحزنة والأوضاع السائدة هناك اليوم تقف حاجزا امامها.

* هل حاولت تدوين مذكراتها؟

ـ ستنتهي قريبا من كتابة مذكراتها التي ستخرج في كتاب.

* ما هو تخصصكم الدراسي؟ واين درستم؟

ـ درست في لبنان والدراسات العليا في بريطانيا وكان اختصاصي هو اقتصاد الدول النامية.

* وهل مارست عملك في الاقتصاد؟

ـ اشتغلت خلال الثمانينات في مجال الاستثمارات البنكية بعد تخرجي من الجامعة للاستفادة من الخبرة والتجربة في العمل مع الشركات الغربية ولمعرفة كيف يفكر الغربيون وكيف يعملون ويخططون لنجاح اعمالهم.

* هل حدث ان عشت قصة حب مع امرأة اوروبية خلال وجودك في لندن.

ـ كلا لم يحدث ذلك هل انت متزوج من اميرة او من احدى العوائل المالكة؟

ـ انا متزوج من سيدة من عامة الناس تتحدر عائلتها من مدينة كربلاء، التقيتها هنا في لندن، وكانت هناك معرفة سابقة بين عائلتي وعائلتها في لبنان حيث عائلتها كانت مقيمة هناك.

* كم عدد اولادك؟

ـ ثلاث بنات وولد وهم: هالة وعالية وفيصل وهبة.

* ما هي هواياتك؟

ـ هواياتي مرتبطة باهتماماتي وهي القراءة وخاصة قراءة الكتب التاريخية والاقتصادية، ولي هوايات رياضية منها ممارسة لعبة التنس والسباحة والتزحلق والمبارزة بالشيش وللاسف عندي حساسية من الخيل ولا استطيع التقرب منها وكنت اتمنى ممارسة الفروسية. اما في السنوات الاخيرة فهوايتي المفضلة هي الجلوس امام الكمبيوتر والانترنت حيث ياخذ الكثير من وقتي، وكانت واحدة من افضل هواياتي هي التصوير الفوتوغرافي الا انني لا اتوفر اليوم على الوقت لممارستها.

* وماذا عن الفنون؟

افضل مشاهدة الافلام السينمائية فانا من متابعي السينما.

* والموسيقى؟

ـ ليس عندي الكثير من الوقت لمتابعة الموسيقى واستمع لما تبثه الاذاعات.

* هل تحفظ اسماء لمطربين عراقيين؟

ـ نعم اعرف كاظم الساهر والهام المدفعي.

* انت من عائلة اصولها ملكية، فهل نشأتم مدللين؟

ـ ليس بالشكل السائد عن الدلال، انا نشأت مثلما ينشأ الفتى في اية عائلة عربية ومستوى معيشتي متوسط فنحن لسنا عائلة ثرية ولكننا والحمد لله «مرتاحون»، فهناك عوائل عربية او عراقية غنية في الاصل، ومنذ ايام الحكم الملكي في العراق كانت هناك عوائل اغنى من العائلة المالكة حتى ان القصر الملكي في بغداد كان بيتا متواضعا ولا نستطيع ان نطلق عليه تسمية قصر وخاصة قصر الرحاب الذي كان اصغر بكثير من قصر الزهور الذي عاش فيه لفترة من الزمن الملك غازي رحمه الله واغتيل فيه ايضا. نشأت مثل اي فتى عراقي اعتيادي.

* ماذا تتمنون لولدكم فيصل مستقبلا؟

ـ انا اترك له حرية الاختيار لكن اهم شيء هو ان اعلمه اهمية خدمة الاخرين وان العراقيين يحترموننا لأسباب كثيرة ولا اريده ان يعتبر هذا الاحترام تحصيل حاصل ويستغله وان لا يفضل مصالحه الشخصية على مصالح الاخرين.

Demands the return of property to Iraq: I want to return to Baghdad to serve the public

Sharif Ali Bin Al-Hussein told «Middle East»: after the murder of the royal family turned to the Iraqi Embassy in Saudi Arabia, King Saud sent a telegram to the Ambassador to protect us
London: infectious Fayyad
After the end of the war to liberate Kuwait ten years ago and a half year put the future of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his regime for discussion inside and outside Iraq, the direction of change and the establishment of an alternative system. He called on Iraqis to restore some of the monarchy that was overthrown in July 1958. And wrapped them around the Sharif Ali Bin Al Hussein, who comes from a royal family that ruled Iraq between 1921 and .1958 he is the son beautiful girl Princess Sharif Ali aunt of the last king of Iraq Faisal II.

In London, we received Sherif Ali in his apartment by his humility can not call it a label «extremely luxurious» it is almost unusual apartment in a building with many of the other apartments. What makes the reception in the apartment featured are images of Kings Faisal I and Ghazi, Faisal II and Prince Abdul-Ilah uncle along with his aunt, Princess Alia and the mother of King Faisal II and his mother, Princess Badia and the image of his father, Sharif Hussein ibn Ali. There is also the slogan of the former Kingdom of Iraq before Iraq to become a republican government, which is also the slogan «Constitutional Monarchy Movement» sponsored by Sharif Ali Bin Al Hussein.

* What is the history of Meladkm and where?

I was born in 1956 in Baghdad.

* What are the Iraqi royal family Saltkm?

King Faisal I, Allah's mercy, cousin of my father Sharif Hussein bin Ali, and Crown Prince Abdul Ilah is free and al-Sharif Ali is a serious one hand, and my father and is also the cousin of King Hussein I and free King Faisal I. So we are much closer to the royal family in Iraq in terms of father and mother, and my grandfather was Prince of Mecca, as his father was a former governor of Mecca at the time of Ottoman rule and was appointed by the Sultan Abdul Hamid.

* Are you the only remaining family and closest to the throne in Iraq?

My brothers are not my biggest two-Sharif and Mohammed Abdullah Al-Sharif, and I'm younger. When the light groups of Iraqis and my father after the second Gulf War in 1991 the need to return the monarchy to Iraq and claim the throne, and nominate one of his sons for the job met the family and I was selected.

* Who is Aldtkm?

My mother Princess Badia, daughter of King on the last king of Hejaz, and aunt of King Faisal II and his brother, Prince Abdul Ilah, who was the guardian of the throne of Iraq and Luleå of the Covenant in the post.

* In 1958 when the royal family was assassinated two years, your age, what are the memories that I heard from your family for that day and how was it save you?

When it became the attack on 14 July 1958 on the royal family in the Rehab Palace in Baghdad We were in our house in the Mansour district, close to the Palace of Rehab, we were not with the rest of the royal family. We heard the first shot and bombed the palace, and according to what he tells my father that he telephoned the palace and spoke with King Faisal II, who did not take things to the Study of Grandpa when he said: The issue is simple and the situation well and there are some soldiers their demands and we are negotiating with them, and asked my father, King As if he needed any help or protect the king said, do not matter do not require it. This was the last conversation between King Faisal and my father. Then came some of the soldiers who were in the palace of Rehab to our home crying before they tell the parents killed the entire royal family and asked my father to escape and save his family.

Q: How did you escape?

First attempt at thought of my father were crossing the desert to the Jordan, but he found it difficult to implement at the time that, for this to take my father's family, and we slept the first night at a friend's house to him before must turn in the morning to the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Baghdad and stayed there three weeks ago, hosted by the Saudi ambassador, who had received a cable from King Saud may God have mercy on him and told him that our responsibility and asked him to help us, and became negotiations with the new system to allow us to leave Iraq is not that exposed to us and allowed us to do so. Many of the Iraqis or even outside Iraq think we've killed for the disappearance of News for three weeks that we spent at the Embassy. So we survived thanks to God and thanks from the King Saud University.

* Did you go to Jordan?

Has allowed us to travel to Egypt only and we went out there and we stayed for one month because my father was afraid to become a unity between Egypt and Iraq have exposed the arrest or delivery to Iraq, or book us in Egypt. We left Egypt to Europe and then returned to Lebanon, our family that settled it.

* Did not visited Iraq in your life?

Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to achieve these two cases, such as security and if the majority of Iraqis who have left their homeland and are waiting to return one day soon. Now there are new generations of Iraqis who have not had the chance to see their country.

* Do you ever regret the Iraq?

Sure, I though I had not lived in Iraq, but I live in Iraq internal each day, either through family or through my meetings with the Iraqis. I can say I know a lot about Iraq, and through my meetings with different shades of our people abroad.

* Do you want to return to Iraq as a king or a normal citizen?

This is due to the Iraqi people's choice, if he wants me or select me as king will be ready to serve my people and my king, and that this was not his choice will come back as a soldier to serve my country.

* What are the memories and Aldtkm from Iraq?

Frequency and my mother constantly in the past that the Iraqis were living a stable life and happy, and that the simplicity and honesty were to prevail in dealing with people, and there was a convergence of confidence even when they describe Iraq seems to me it describes a country other than what it is now. She says that the Iraqis were ambitious to be developed in the future of their country, particularly that Iraq is the first Arab country to have entered the League of Nations and Fadhel Jamali, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the monarchy was one of the signatories of the Charter of the United Nations. It says the state of Iraq was a respected and advanced and that the Iraqi when he was traveling abroad was proud as an Iraqi face to respect others.

* What are her memories about the life of the royal family in the past?

The simplicity of their lives that is so prevalent Rehab Palace was open to citizens. I remember that my father once said he had spoken to King Faisal I told him that between the bedroom and the street a few meters and there is no gate protects the Rehab Palace only one soldier, how can insure your life? He answered the king, saying: Do you want me to err, or afraid of people? Do I need to protect the Iraqi people?.

* What is the age and Aldtkm now?

82-year-old hopes a visit to Iraq, but the sad memories and the situation stands today, there is a barrier in front.

* Have you ever tried taking notes?

Will soon be writing her memoirs, which will come out in a book.

* What is T_khasskm school? And where you study?

Studied in Lebanon and graduate studies in Britain and the specialist is an economy of developing countries.

* Is your business engaged in the economy?

During the eighties worked in the investment banking after graduating from the university to benefit from the expertise and experience in working with Western companies and to learn how to think Westerners and how they work and plan for the success of their business.

* Have you lived a love story with a European woman during your stay in London.

Both did not happen Are you married to a princess or from one of the royal families?

I am married to a lady from the general public her family hails from the city of Karbala, On her here in London, and there was prior knowledge of my family and her family in Lebanon, where her family was a resident there.

* How many of your children?

Three daughters were born and they are: halo, high-Faisal, and a gift.

* What are your hobbies?

Hobbies related Bahtmamata a reading and reading books, especially historical, economic, Crown Hobbies Sports, a game of tennis, swimming, skiing, fencing Baheih and, unfortunately, I'm allergic to horses and I can not get close to them and I was hoping to practice horsemanship. But in recent years Vhoaita favorite is sitting in front of the computer and the Internet, where it takes a lot of my time, and was one of the best hobbies are photography, but I can not today do not provide the time to exercise.

* What about the arts?

View the best movies I who follow the film.

* The music?

I do not have a lot of time to follow the music and listen to radio broadcasts.

* Do you keep the names of singers Iraqis?

Yes I know Kazem El Saher important artillery.

* You are a family of property assets, is Ncotm pampered?

Not as prevalent on the auctioneer, I grew up as arises boy in the state of an Arab family and the level of my living mean we are not a wealthy family, but we thank God «satisfied», there are families of Arab or Iraqi is rich in the original, and since the days of the monarchy in Iraq, there were families of the richest of Even the royal family the royal palace in Baghdad was a modest house and we can not call it a private label Palace and Palace Rehab, which was much smaller than the SFA where he lived for a time, King Ghazi may Allah have mercy on him and was assassinated as well. Grew up like any ordinary Iraqi boy.

* What do you wish to Oldkm Faisal in the future?

I leave him freedom of choice but the most important thing is that I'm aware of the importance of service to others and that the Iraqis respect us for many reasons and I want him to respect this is a foregone conclusion and the exploited, and that does not favor his own interests to the interests of others.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Canada to speed up approval of big energy projects

29 Mar 2012 20:11

Source: reuters // Reuters

* Canada to set limits for hearings into big projects

* New rules would cut environmental assessments

* Canada also moving against charities that criticize energy projects

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, March 29 (Reuters) - Canada, intent on boosting development of the oil-rich tar sands, will speed up the process for approving big energy and industrial projects such as pipelines.

The federal budget, released on Thursday, also said the right-of-center Conservative government would crack down on political activity by charities, some of which have strongly criticized Ottawa's focus on energy exports.

The government, which has long complained about the complex approval system for pipelines and mines, said it would impose firm time limits on regulatory hearings, ensure that each project was only reviewed once and cut the number of environmental assessments.

At stake, it said, was up to C$500 billion ($500 billion) in investment in new Canadian projects over the next decade.

"Those who wish to invest in our resources have been facing an increasingly complicated web of rules and bureaucratic reviews that have grown over time, adding costs and delays that can deter investors and undermine the economic viability of major projects," said the budget document.

"We need a regulatory system that reviews projects in a timely and transparent manner, while effectively protecting the environment."

Ottawa and the 10 provinces share responsibility for regulation, which can mean some major projects are examined twice. Public hearings into proposed mines and pipelines can drag out the review process for up to seven years.

The government said it would impose a maximum 24-month limit for reviews. Hearings by the National Energy Board, the federal energy regulator, will be capped at 18 months and standard environmental assessments will take no more than 12 months.

The news will anger environmentalists, who oppose all-out development of the tar sands on the grounds that extracting crude from the clay-like bitumen is energy-intensive and contributes to climate change.

"Canadians should be very worried. What the government is doing is putting the interests of big corporations, big oil companies, ahead of the interest of the public," said Steven Guilbeault of the green group Equiterre.

"We will have very limited ability to question companies on the impacts of these projects on our communities, on our water reserves ... The remedy is far worse than the problem now."

The Conservatives - who have close ties to the energy industry - also said they would eliminate the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, which provides analysis and policy advice.

The government says Canadian prosperity relies in part on development of the Alberta tar sands, which are estimated to contain 170 billion barrels of crude and are the world's third-largest oil resource.

The budget document said the sands could contribute C$2.3 trillion to Canada's gross domestic product over the next 25 years and support 480,000 jobs per year.

Canada exports nearly all of its oil to the United States, where a glut in supplies means Canadian crude is trading at a significant discount. The Conservatives want to boost shipments to booming Asian markets.

The new faster approval process would in theory help Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, which wants to double the capacity of its existing Trans Mountain pipeline from the tar sands to the Pacific Coast.

The government did not say whether it might apply the new time limits retroactively.

The National Energy Board has just started public hearings into plans by Enbridge Inc to build a pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific Coast and so many people have applied to take part that the process could take two years.

The government, which blames what it calls foreign-funded groups for whipping up opposition to the pipeline, says it will restrict the ability of charities to fund organizations which engage in political activities.

"It's unbelievable ... it seems we live less and less in a state of law and more and more in a dictatorship," said Guilbeault.

Charities are already subject to strict rules which say they can spend 10 percent of their time and activities on politics.

In other moves designed to help resource development, Ottawa said it would extend a temporary 15 percent mineral exploitation tax credit for investors in flow-through shares by another year to March 31, 2013. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Randall Palmer)

Ex-mine chief pleads guilty to 2010 W. Virginia blast charge

29 Mar 2012 18:14

Source: reuters // Reuters

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) - The former superintendent of the West Virginia mine where 29 workers died in a 2010 explosion pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal conspiracy charge that he tipped off employees to safety inspections.

Gary May, 43, is the most senior executive with Massey Energy to face criminal charges in the Upper Big Branch blast, the worst U.S. mine accident in four decades.

May, of Bloomingrose, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy charge of impeding Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) enforcement efforts between February 2008 and April, 5, 2010, when the explosion took place, the Justice Department said in a statement.

"I'm pleased that Mr. May is cooperating with our investigation," Booth Goodwin, the U.S. attorney for West Virginia's Southern District, said in the statement.

May warned workers of MSHA inspections and admitted to concealing health and safety violations when he knew inspections were nearing, the statement said.

May said he ordered a mine examination book to be falsified. He also told miners to rewire the methane gas detector on a piece of mine equipment so the equipment could run illegally, it said.

May faces up to five years' in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 9.

The head of security at Upper Big Branch was charged last year with impeding investigators and lying to them. A former foreman also has been accused of lying to investigators.

Massey has been bought by Alpha Natural Resources Inc ANR.N.
Alpha agreed in December to pay $1.5 million to each of the families of the 29 miners who died as part of a $209 million settlement. (Reporting By Ian Simpson; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Vicki Allen)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gas leaks near flare as Total dismisses blast risk

Wed, Mar 28 14:57 PM EDT
1 of 7

By Sybille de La Hamaide and Karolin Schaps

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) - Explosive natural gas is leaking from Total's Elgin North Sea platform less than 100 meters from a flare which workers left burning as they evacuated the rig, the French energy company said on Wednesday.

Total dismissed the risk of a blast at the platform, 240 km (150 miles) off the east coast of Scotland, and the British government said the flame had to remain burning to prevent excess gas pressure from building up.

But one energy industry consultant said Elgin could become "an explosion waiting to happen" if the oil major did not rapidly stop the leak which is above the water at the wellhead.

Total's share price has dropped about 7 percent in the past two days, although some analysts said the leak did not appear to be as serious as the oil leak that caused BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, the world's worst marine oil spill.

A spokesman for Total UK said the flare was on a separate platform from the leak, albeit only a short distance away.

"The flare is still burning but is not posing a risk. The leak is on the wellhead platform and the flare is on the Processing, Utilities and Quarters platform. There is a gap of 90 meters (300 feet) between the two,"
he said in the Scottish city of Aberdeen.

Total said it expected the flare to exhaust itself and burn out. The company was looking at ways to extinguish the flare if this did not happen.

David Hainsworth, a health, safety and environment manager at Total, told the BBC the priority had been the safety of the 238 staff of the platform when it was evacuated on Sunday.

Memories are still raw in the North Sea industry of the Piper Alpha platform fire 24 years ago, when 167 people were killed in the world's deadliest offshore oil disaster.

Hainsworth said the flare was still alight, adding that "we don't believe it has been reduced in size". He could not say how long it would take to extinguish the flame, and whether that would be "an hour, or 24 hours or two days" - or even longer.

The British government said the flame was still alight as part of the safety system triggered during the evacuation to burn off excess gas.

"At the moment wind is taking the gas cloud away from the flame and weather conditions are forecast to remain stable for the next few days," said a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. "We hope that the pressure will be such that the flame will naturally go out by itself, but Total are not taking that for granted."


Industry consultant John Shanks said the stakes were high for the offshore industry. "The news this morning that the flare is still burning on the platform is thus unwelcome," said Shanks, who works at RiserTec, a specialist engineering consultancy based in Aberdeen.

"Under normal conditions, the deeper the leak, the more difficult remedial work will be. However, if gas continues to leak at a steady or increased rate over a sustained period of time, the platform could become an explosion waiting to happen."

A spokesman for Total in Paris said a solution to plugging the leak was still being evaluated and it was "a question of days". "We have not precisely identified the cause of the incident," he said.

The British energy ministry said Total was considering two options to plug the leak: drilling a relief well that would allow the flow of gas to be shut off, or blocking the well with heavy mud.

Total warned on Tuesday that it could take six months to halt the flow of gas in an accident that has thrown a spotlight on the safety record of energy production in the British sector of the North Sea.

Hainsworth said then that some weeks ago Total engineers had decided to pump mud into redundant piping on a gas reservoir which had been plugged about a year ago. This appeared to result in the escape of gas from the outer casing of the well.

The Piper Alpha disaster led to a major review of offshore safety rules, underpinning the Britain's current regime. Industry body Oil and Gas UK said hydrocarbon leaks from offshore rigs have fallen 70 percent over the past 15 years, though figures suggest they remain high compared with Norway.

The UK sector recorded 155 cases of hydrocarbon releases in 2010-2011, against only eight in 2010 alone in the Norwegian sector.

"Obviously the UK has more rigs in our sector of the North Sea compared with Norway, but like for like we're still seeing many more incidents," said one energy union official who asked not to be identified. "This is the type of thing we're seeing more and more, and as a union we're getting sick of it."

Six months ago Total showed Elgin, one of the newer North Sea platforms which is due to keep producing for another 25 years, to a group of journalists, including a Reuters reporter.

On top of its triangular structure on huge yellow-painted ladder legs was a labyrinth of stacks of staff quarters next to an enormous on-board gas treatment plant, powered by engines with exhaust pipes as wide as two cars. The platform boasts two gymnasiums and a sea view cafeteria.

Credit ratings agency Fitch said current reports of the four-day leak suggest the unfolding incident was not as serious as the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon platform which resulted in oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.

"The Elgin leak is a surface gas leak rather than an underwater oil leak, making its potential for environmental damage far lower than in the Deepwater Horizon case," Fitch said in a statement.

Fitch said accidents like this were unpredictable and difficult to resolve but it considered the potential was low for this leak to escalate to a crisis on the scale of Deepwater Horizon.

The explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and ruptured BP's Macondo well, unleashing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. BP struck a deal estimated at $7.8 billion with businesses and individuals suing over the spill.

Analysts' estimates for the costs to Total of the Elgin leak ranged from $150 million to $2.7 billion, depending on how long the company takes to bring it under control.

In the worst-case scenario of an explosion on the platform, however, costs could soar to at least $10 billion, not including possible environmental fines, they said.


The Elgin well, which pumps about three percent of Britain's gas output from six km (nearly four miles) below the seabed, pushes the frontiers of technology.

With British energy exploration moving from the North Sea into the Atlantic, environmental group Greenpeace said the Elgin incident highlighted the dangers of operating in ever more hostile environments further afield.

"A spill in the Arctic would be much harder to contain and close to impossible to clean up. Yet that is where the oil and gas companies now want to go in their search for more lethal riches," John Sauven, Greenpeace executive director, said in a statement.

Simon Boxall, a marine expert and oceanographer at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, said that what seemed like a very serious incident 24 hours ago now appeared to be settling down, but risks remained.

"There is still a risk and they do need to stop the leak, because a chronic leak would build up hydrogen sulphide in the water. It's a problem that needs solving and it's not doing the environment any good, but it's not a major incident at this stage," he said.

Total said a preliminary assessment suggested there had been no significant impact on the environment. A surveillance flight had spotted a gas cloud heading east and a sheen on the sea surface. Seawater samples had been collected for testing.

Fire fighting vessels were at the field as a precaution and a robot vessel was on standby, it said in a statement.

The loss of oil and gas output from Elgin - as well as the prospect of a big repair bill - helped drive Total's share price down six percent on the Paris bourse on Tuesday and 1.4 percent on Wednesday.

(Additional reporting by Muriel Boselli, Valerie Parent and Blaise Robinson in Paris, Henning Gloystein, Oleg Vukmanovic, Sarah Young and Kate Kelland in London; writing by David Stamp; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Giles Elgood)


Flare on Total's Elgin platform extinguished-CEO

31 Mar 2012 10:25

Source: reuters // Reuters

(Adds background)

By Muriel Boselli

PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) - A flare near Total's Elgin drilling platform has gone out, reducing the threat of explosion at a massive gas leak from a North Sea well, the company's chief executive said on Saturday.

"The flare on the Elgin platform was extinguished last night," Christophe de Margerie wrote on Total's Twitter account. A spokesman confirmed the tweet, saying the flame had gone out by itself without technical intervention.

The flare had been lit as part of Total's response to a gas leak at the Elgin drilling platform off Scotland's east coast, to relieve pressure in the well.

Located about 100 metres away from the rig, it raised fears of a massive explosion were it to ignite the natural gas that has been leaking below the platform for six days.

While Total had dismissed the risk of a blast, one engineering consultant warned that Elgin could become "an explosion waiting to happen".

Options to extinguish the flare had included dropping water from a helicopter or spraying nitrogen overhead to starve the flame of oxygen. In the end, the flare went out by itself.

The leak, which began on Sunday, is spewing an estimated 200,000 cubic metres of natural gas into the air per day, forming a highly explosive gas cloud around the platform.

It began after pressure rose in a well that had earlier been capped.

A team of international experts is advising on how to plug the leak and Total said on Friday it would drill two relief wells, a process that could take six months and cost up to $3 billion.

Total evacuated its 238 platform workers, and set up a two-mile exclusion zone for safety reasons, with fire-fighting ships on standby.

A senior union official said on Friday that Total had repeatedly assured workers a leak was impossible until just hours before evacuating them. (Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein; Writing by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Total expected to get UK go-ahead to kill leaking well soon

01 Apr 2012 15:11

Source: reuters // Reuters

By Muriel Boselli and Karolin Schaps

PARIS, April 1 (Reuters) - British authorities are expected to grant French oil company Total permission in the next few days to kill its leaking Elgin well in the North Sea, industry sources said on Sunday.

Total wants to launch two processes in parallel to stop the gas leak from the well - which is emitting potentially explosive gas - but cannot proceed without a green light from Britain's Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

If Total passes a risk assessment by the HSE it can then proceed with stopping the leak.

"Authorisation for both options should land early next week, perhaps on Monday," one of the sources said.

Commenting on the risk assessment, an HSE spokesman said: "That process is ongoing. I cannot comment on timelines."

In the first process Total will inject drilling mud to kill the leaking well, although this remains a risky option as human intervention on the platform would be necessary.

The second process involves digging two relief wells, which could take six months and cost up to $3 billion.

Total CEO Christophe De Margerie said on Saturday a flare near the drilling platform went out without intervention, reducing the threat of explosion at a massive gas leak.

The flare had been lit as part of Total's response to a gas leak at the platform off Scotland's east coast, in order to relieve pressure in the well.

Located about 100 metres away from the rig, the flare raised fears of a massive explosion were it to ignite the natural gas that has been leaking for a week below the platform.

While Total had dismissed the risk of a blast, one engineering consultant warned that Elgin could become "an explosion waiting to happen."

The leak is spewing an estimated 200,000 cubic metres of natural gas into the air per day, forming a highly explosive gas cloud around the platform.

It began after pressure rose in a well that had earlier been capped.

Total evacuated its 238 platform workers, and set up a two-mile exclusion zone for safety reasons, with fire-fighting ships on standby.

A senior union official said on Friday that Total had repeatedly assured workers a leak was impossible until just hours before evacuating them. (Editing by Alexandria Sage and Karolina Tagaris)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

UPDATE 4-Diamonds not forever: Rio Tinto may sell business

Tue, Mar 27 16:43 PM EDT

* Diamonds arm could fetch around $2-$2.4 bln - analysts

* Competing against BHP's diamonds sale

* Diamonds business not big enough for Rio Tinto

By Sonali Paul and Clara Ferreira-Marques

MELBOURNE/LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest miner, effectively invited bids on Tuesday for its diamonds business, on its books at $1.2 billion, and joined BHP Billiton in a retreat from an industry that has lost its sparkle for mining majors.

Rio Tinto, which runs three mines in Australia, Canada and Africa, said it was reviewing its diamond business and would consider selling it, as it focuses on expanding in more scaleable and profitable commodities such as iron ore, copper and uranium.

Its diamond business -- the 100 percent-owned Argyle mine in Australia, famous for its pink diamonds, as well as 60 percent-owned Diavik mine in Canada and 78 percent-owned Murowa mine in Zimbabwe -- comes on the market at the same time as BHP Billiton tries to sell its EKATI diamond mine in Canada.

"It's a great business in terms of diamonds, but I think that in terms of the scale, it ceased to have the meaningful place (for Rio) that it used to have, so we are looking at a number of options, including selling," Rio Tinto Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliott told the Reuters Mining and Metals Summit, hours after the review was announced. "Expressions of interest, well, people have always been asking about this business for obvious reasons, it's a very attractive business," Elliott said, declining to comment further.

He said Rio had not yet made any decision about how it could sell the assets or what ownership structures it would consider.

Deutsche Bank valued Rio Tinto's diamond arm, which accounts for less than 2 percent of profit, at some $2.4 billion, while another analyst who declined to be named gave a valuation of around $2 billion for the business.

Rio's mines, one of which is moving into more complex underground operations, could attract the same bidders that have circled BHP's EKATI mine, including smaller industry players seeking to boost their clout, private equity firms and even jewellers, who have sought mine stakes to secure supply.

Bidders in the running for BHP's mine have included private equity firm KKR and luxury jeweller Harry Winston , which already has a 40 percent stake in Rio's Diavik mine.

"Expressions of interest, well, people have always been asking about this business for obvious reasons, it's a very attractive business," Elliott said, declining to comment further.

A drop in diamond prices since July, knocked by Europe's downturn, has hit sentiment towards the sector, but the longer-term dynamics for the industry are looking up, with India and China expected to drive longer-term growth in demand.


Rio mined 11.7 million carats of diamonds last year, about a third of the amount dug up by each of the world's top two producers, Russia's state-owned Alrosa and De Beers.

Alrosa produces 24 percent of the world's diamonds, De Beers 21 percent, and Rio and BHP about 7 percent each.

Rio and BHP's exit from diamonds is unlikely to resurrect the diamond cartel they broke up a decade ago when they refused to sell their diamonds through De Beers, the South African giant soon to be majority owned by global miner Anglo American , with many smaller players now populating the market. De Beers could also face antitrust issues in any bid.

"I'm not sure that's a way De Beers wants to go, or they are the right buyer to snap it up," said David Lennox, an analyst with broker Fat Prophets.

De Beers Chief Executive Philippe Mellier, speaking at the Reuters Mining and Metals Summit, said global miners BHP and Rio had understood that in their large portfolios of commodities "they had something that was not a commodity" and did not fit.

"They have to play a key role in everything they do and they are very small players in the diamond world -- maybe the interest is no longer there," Mellier said.

He declined to comment on De Beers' own interest in the asset: "We are here to grow the business. We will look at any sensible opportunity, but we will never comment on it," he said.

For Rio, diamonds last year accounted for less than 0.1 percent of group net earnings, slumping 86 percent to just $10 million on revenue of $727 million.

The open-pit Argyle mine, undergoing a $2.1 billion expansion underground, is the largest diamond producer in the world by volume and the largest source for pink diamonds, though only 0.1 percent are actually considered pink.

Rio's shares closed up 0.7 percent in London, above a broadly flat broader mining sector.

UPDATE 1-CN sells two rail lines in Toronto for C$310.5 mln

Tue, Mar 27 14:28 PM EDT

March 27 (Reuters) - Canadian National Railways said it has sold two rail line segments in the greater Toronto region to Metrolinx, Ontario's regional transport agency, for C$310.5 million.

Metrolinx is buying a line that runs from Rosedale Valley road north through the Don Valley to CN's main east-west freight line near the Toronto-York region border. The line is a part of CN's Bala subdivision.

GO Transit, Metrolinx's inter-regional transit system in Ontario, links Toronto to the greater Toronto area, which covers the city as well as the adjoining municipalities of Durham, Halton, Peel and York. Its Richmond Hill line runs through a part of CN's Bala subdivision.

CN's is also selling a part of its Oakville subdivision, starting from a point in the Etobicoke area of Toronto and terminating in Oakville, Ontario.

Last year, Metrolinx bought a segment of CN's Kingston subdivision for C$299 million.

Shares in CN were trading flat at C$79.74 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

MQM-ANP day of mourning: 18 killed, over 105 vehicles torched in Karachi

By Saba Imtiaz / Zahid Gishkori / Faraz Khan
Published: March 27, 2012

A paramilitary soldier attempts to extinguish a fire after protesters set alight a passenger bus in Karachi on March 27, 2012, after the killing of an MQM sector member. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI / ISLAMABAD: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement observed a day of mourning in Sindh on Tuesday after an MQM sector member in PIB Colony was killed.

Violence hit the city immediately after the incident, as eight people were reported to have been killed and dozens were injured as a result of firing. More than 35 vehicles, including a police mobile, were also torched by unknown men in parts of the city.

A clash between two groups in Qasba Colony was also reported, while a hotel in Gulberg Block 18 was also burnt down.

It had also been reported that policemen at station level did not have orders of taking action against miscreants and had been told to patrol the streets.

All educational institutions were shut down and exams had been postponed.

According to a statement issued by the MQM, armed men broke into Mansoor Mukhtar’s house in PIB Colony on Tuesday morning and opened fire. Mansoor was killed and his brother and sister-in-law were injured.

Maqsood Mukhtar, who was injured in the Tuesday morning attack on his brother, MQM worker Mansoor Mukhtar, also died later today. Additionally, the MQM said two of its supporters were also targeted in PIB Colony and were injured.

Funeral prayers were held later in the day and were attended by MQM leader including Dr Sagheer Ahmed and Hammad Siddiqui. The funeral was attended by over 5,000 people.

Traffic on the roads in DHA, Clifton and around the Sindh Secretariat remained light and most petrol pumps were shut, though there was some public transport operating.

Areas affected by the violence were PIB Colony, Gulshan, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Malir, Jaffer Tayar, Rafa-e -Aam Society, Kala Board, Shah Faisal Colony, Korangi, Landhi, Liaquatabad, Nazimabad, Nagan Chowrangi, New Karachi, North Karachi and Saddar.

The Sindh cabinet meeting and the Public Accounts Committee meeting in the Sindh Assembly were also postponed.

MQM walkout from National Assembly

The MQM also staged a walkout from the National Assembly to protest the killing.

“We will not sit in the Parliament today until the government brings the culprits to justice,” MQM Parliamentary leader Haider Abbass Rizvi said.

Rizvi, before leaving the House, said that the government should debate security issues in the country rather than the state’s foreign policy.

Condemnations pour in

MQM chief Altaf Hussain condemned the killing of the MQM worker.

The party’s Coordination Committee has condemned the reported incidents of violence in the city and asked the party workers to keep a check on those trying to disrupt a ‘peaceful day of mourning’.

The MQM blamed those “involved in the Lyari gang war” for the attack and appealed to the president, prime minister and Sindh government to take action.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) deputy secretary-general Imran Ismail blamed the government for the city’s security conditions and condoled the death of the MQM worker killed on Tuesday morning.

The attack is the second in two days. Gunmen shot at a poetry recital organised by the MQM in Clifton on Sunday night. The party hasblamed Awami National Party workers for Sunday’s attack.


The Express Tribune

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Convocation: Tearful and generous, K-P governor tells graduating women of
< >
Karachi violence: City goes into lockdown as ANP worker killed, 9 vehicles torched
By Web Desk
Published: March 28, 2012

KARACHI: As Karachi recovered from a day of violence that saw over eight people killed earlier on Tuesday, an Awami National Party (ANP) worker was killed and one was injured in the city on Wednesday.

Unknown people had opened fire on a car of an ANP worker in front of the Matric Board Office in Nazimabad.

Express News correspondent Shahab Salman reported that two people were taken to Liaquat National Hospital after the firing incident. The dead man was identified as Zainul Abideen and the injured was identified as Sajid Hasanzai, both workers of the ANP.

End of live updates


The body of the deceased ANP worker has reached home in Lasbela.

Due to security threat, public transport will not run on its routes tomorrow (Thursday).


Wagon burnt on University Road.

The number of vehicles burnt has risen to nine.

ANP chief Asfandyar Wali has demanded a full investigation into the incident and has asked that action be taken against the killers.

All Private School Association has decided that schools will remain open tomorrow.

The body of the deceased ANP worker has been sent home from hospital.


According to police, a car was burnt down near Rabia City, Gulistan-e-Johar.

A total number of eight cars have been burnt so far.


There are reports of unidentified men taking at least 12 blindfolded people into Micasa Apartments, near Essa Nagri area.


ANP has announced a day of mourning tomorrow (Thursday).

MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has urged the government to take strict action against those destroying peace in Karachi.


Rehman Malik says deweaponisation of the entire country needed.

Despite heavy presence of security personnel in the area, firing continues in Essa Nagri.

An order has been given to bring all police mobiles and armoured personnel carrier into the streets.


The transporters association has announced that public transport will not be running for the rest of the day. The decision to run transport tomorrow will be taken after assessing the situation.

Unknown men have pelted vehicles with stones near Micasa Apartments in the Hasan Square area.


Target killing in Karachi is a conspiracy, says Interior Minister Rehman Malik.


The Police spokesperson has said that strict action will be taken against miscreants.

Over seven motorcycles and vehicles have been burnt so far.

Intense firing reported in Essa Nagri, there is no sign of police or security personnel in the area.


Killing of an ANP member is an attempt to destroy city’s peace and the culprits should be immediately arrested, says MQM Rabita Committee.

A car has been burnt down in Essa Nagri area.

Miscreants have attacked factories in the SITE area.

Commuters were taken off vehicles and beaten up by miscreants in the Banaras area.

The route to Kati Pahari has been closed.


Senator Shahi Syed has strongly condemned the incident and demanded that the killers be arrested immediately. He has also asked ANP workers to remain peaceful and help law enforcement agencies.

Shahi Syed has also demanded that a judicial inquiry be conducted into the incident.


Police, rangers are present in all the affected areas and are trying to control the situation.

Lasbela Chowk is the most affected area however security personnel have brought situation under control. SSP East is present in the area along with the heavy contingent of security personnel. Situation has however not returned to normalcy, Express News correspondent reported.


Aerial firing reported in the Hasan Square area.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has ordered that strict action be taken against miscreant. He has also ordered Inspector General of Police (IG) Sindh to present a report on the situation.

Additional Rangers personnel deputed to control situation.


Firing incidents reported in Banaras Colony.

Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan has taken notice of firing incidents.

Petrol pumps across the city are being shut down. Massive rush at some pumps.

Two vehicles and three motorcycles have been burnt in the Teen Hatti area.


Local media reports nine people have been injured in firing incidents across the city so far.


District East DIG Tahir Naveed has ordered Rangers to reach the affected areas and told the concerned DSPs and SHOs to roam their areas and arrest miscreants.

The firing incidents have caused traffic jam at Saddar and MA Jinnah Road.

Unknown men have burnt down vehicles near Nishter Road and Patel Para.


Shopkeepers in Lasbela, Saddar, Bohri Bazar and near Abdullah Haroon Road have closed their shops.

Firing incidents were reported in MPR Colony in Orangi town and Empress Market, which have left one injured.

A bus has also been burnt near Nishtar Road.


Protestors in Lasbela and Patel Para came out into the streets after the incident, pelting vehicles with stones and blocking traffic. Two vehicles were also burnt in Lasbela.

Karachi became a target of fierce aggression on March 27, as tyres and vehicles were set on fire, people were killed in firing incidents and roads were blocked as Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced to mourn the death of its workers.

At least 10 people lost their lives, two dozen were injured and around 46 vehicles set alight in the violence.


ANP activist gunned down in Karachi, 7 vehicles set ablaze

By Abdul Hafeez - Mar 28th, 2012 (1 Comment)

Karachi: Unknown assailants opened fire on a vehicle in Nazimad area of Karachi, killing two people including an Awami National Party activists on Wednesday.

Media reports said ANP officer bearer Zainul Abideen and his companion Sajid were targeted near Secondary Education Board.Abidin were killed on the spot while Sajid sustained serious injuries.

A passer by was injured after the killing of ANP worker who later succumbed to injuries in a local hospital.

The killing seems to descend the city once again into violence as seven vehicles and three bikes were set alight in different areas of the city.

Armed men took to the streets and fired shots in the air, spreading panic in Gurumandar and Patailpara area of the city.

Markets were closed shortly after the incident. The incident took place just an hour after a high level meeting in Sindh Home Ministry to chalk out policy to curb violence.

The government also decided to impose ban on carrying weapons in the city.

ANP Sindh President Senator Shahi Syed has condemned the killing. ANP Sindh Secretory General Bashir Jan termed the killing conspiracy against peace of Karachi.

Day 4: ANP worker, police constable among 9 killed in Karachi
By Web Desk
Published: March 30, 2012

Police, rangers and FC surround Kati Pahari, Qasba Colony, 1C area and Bukhari Colony, arrest 12. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: With violence in the city showing no signs of abating, the latest episode claimed lives of at least nine people including a police constable and an Awami National Party (ANP) worker. It also prompted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to declare a ‘day of mourning’ in the city for Saturday.

ANP worker Hidayatullah Mehsud, a member of the ANP Sindh Council was killed in the Manghopir area of Karachi on Friday. This was the second targeted killing of ANP workers in over 48 hours.

However, the sequence of violence seemed to intensify late on Friday after four people traveling in a car on Banaras bridge were shot and killed early Saturday morning.

Taking notice of this incident, the AIG Karachi Akhtar Gorchani issued directives to DIG West, Karachi, that all police officers on duty on, or near the Banaras bridge be arrested.

Meanwhile, Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan has directed all Station House Officers to patrol their designated areas.

The dead were identified as Arif, Kamal, Wasim and his 12 year old son, Hasan. Another person was injured in the same incident.

In another incident a man was shot and killed in Frontier Colony in Site, while another man was killed by gunfire in Bukhari Colony in Orangi.

One person lost their life during firing incidents in Defence Phase two. Another was killed near U-P mor.

Meanwhile, one man was injured in firing in near Dhoraji.

There were also reports of intense firing from Shahrah-e-Noorjehan, Kati Pahari and Qasba Colony. Further reports of firing were received from block 13-D of Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

On Friday evening, unknown assailants attacked SSP Crime Branch Farooq Awan near Lasbela Chowk. As a result, his guard, head constable Imran Baloch received fatal bullet wounds.

His dead body was shifted to Civil hospital.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zainul Abideen, the joint secretary of ANP Patel Para Ward, was killed near the Intermediate Board Office.

The city has experienced a wave of violence this week as workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were also targeted. Both parties had announced days of mourning, which saw Karachi experience no activity and sporadic incidents of violence.

MQM declares Saturday ‘day of mourning’

With the death toll continuing to climb, MQM chief Altaf Hussain in a message called for a day of mourning be observed in the city on Saturday.

He urged the business community to support his call by keeping their businesses shut.

The Karachi Transport Ittehad, which represents public transport in Karachi, have decided to keep their vehicles off the streets today.

Meanwhile, the All Private Schools Association announced that all private schools will remain closed in the city.

Qasba Mor: ‘Wanted criminal’ killed in shootout between groups, 12 arrested

In the aftermath of a shootout between two groups, a wanted criminal, Ashiq Afghani was killed and two others were injured. A vehicle was also set on fire.

After the incident, the situation became tense and all shops in the area were shut down.

Soon afterwards a heavy contingent of police, rangers and FC surrounded Kati Pahari, Qasba Colony, 1C area and Bukhari Colony.

Searching door to door, the forces arrested more than a dozen suspicious persons in these areas.

According to SP Site, Akram Abro the person killed was wanted by the police for charges of murder and attempted murder.


Double homicide: PIB Colony survivor tells police killer called himself Ahmed Ali
By Faraz Khan
Published: March 29, 2012

“I am Ahmed Ali and I will kill you,” she told the police, quoting the prime suspect as saying to the terrified trio before shooting them on Tuesday morning.
The main target was Muttahida Qaumi Movement sector member Mansoor Mukhtar. But her husband Masood died later at hospital. PHOTO: EXPRESS/MOHAMMAD SAQIB “I am Ahmed Ali and I will kill you,” she told the police, quoting the prime suspect as saying to the terrified trio before shooting them on Tuesday morning.

KARACHI: The sole survivor of the PIB Colony murders, 32-year-old Uzma, has been discharged from hospital and has recorded her statement with the police.

“I am Ahmed Ali and I will kill you,” she told the police, quoting the prime suspect as saying to the terrified trio before shooting them on Tuesday morning. The main target was Muttahida Qaumi Movement sector member Mansoor Mukhtar. But her husband Masood died later at hospital. She was shot twice in the right leg.

Uzma has now become the complainant in the double homicide and registered FIR No. 84/12 at the PIB Colony police station. She has nominated Ahmed Ali Magsi and two unidentified men.

The controversial Magsi is said to be linked to the banned Peoples Amn Committee. He has been accused of other killings, especially of MQM men in PIB Colony since last year after his 18-year-old brother Zulfiqar was gunned down allegedly by them in the same neighbourhood. The PAC has said that they do not have anything to do with Ali.

In her statement, Uzma, who has two children, said that they were sleeping at 4:35am. She woke up feeling that someone had come into the house. They woke her husband and dragged him out of the room where he was joined by Mansoor, her brother-in-law. Then one of the three men said he was Ahmed Ali before spraying them with bullets.

ASI Rana Ajmal recorded Uzma’s statement and said that they were verifying whether the culprit really was Ahmed Ali.

At least half a dozen suspects were apprehended in raids on Lyari, Liaquatabad and Abul Hassan Ispahani road on Wednesday. The residences of PAC men, Uzair Jan Baloch, Taj Mohammad and Mullah Nisar, were also raided.

3rd 'day of mourning': Normalcy returns to Karachi
By Web Desk / Zeeshan Mujahid / Saba Imtiaz / Faraz Khan / Sohail Khattak / Shaheryar Mirza / Salman Siddiqui / APP
Published: March 31, 2012

Coffins containing the bodies of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists are carried during a funeral ceremony in Karachi on March 31 2012. PHOTO: AFP
Coffins containing the bodies of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists are carried during a funeral ceremony in Karachi on March 31 2012. PHOTO: AFP Traffic was low and businesses in Karachi remained closed for most of the day. PHOTO: EMA ANIS Karachi is observing its third day of mourning this week as violence in the city continued, claiming 15 lives in the last 24 hours. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/FILE

KARACHI: Karachi observed its third day of mourning this week as violence continued to plague the city, taking the death toll to 14 in the last 24 hours.

The day of mourning had been called by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, who had also urged the business community to support his call by keeping their businesses shut. Traffic was low and businesses remained shut for most of the day.

Earlier in the day, the chief justice of Sindh High Court had taken notice of the situation in the city and had asked DG Rangers and IG Police to file detailed reports.

Petrol pumps and businesses started to reopen and transport also started to run again after 5pm.

Hussain had also later thanked the citizens of Karachi for observing a “peaceful day of mourning.”

The recent wave of violence began after the killing of a man believed to be affiliated with the Awami National Party (ANP) on Friday evening. The man identified as Ashiq was shot at and injured in Qasba Colony, and later passed away in the evening. Three MQM supporters were also killed late Friday night.

Workers of both the MQM and ANP have been targeted this week, sparking a new wave of violence that has seen the city experience no activity and sporadic incidents of violence.

Rehman Malik visits Karachi

Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, on arrival in Karachi on Saturday, said that the city was being targeted in order to destabilise Pakistan.

Talking to the media at Jinnah International airport, Malik said that anti state elements were creating a law and order situation in the financial hub of the country, adding that MQM workers were being killed under a conspiracy.

“Innocent people also fell victim under the same conspiracy”, the minister added.

Malik further said that money extortion (bhatta), drug and land mafias were active in the city and contributed towards the violence.

Talking about the steps being taken by the Federal government, he said that Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani had taken notice of the situation and ordered immediate measures to improve the law and order in the metropolis. Malik hoped that the city’s situation would be improved very soon as strict actions were being taken against elements involved in the violence.

The minister also paid a surprise visit to violence prone areas, including Katti Pahari, Qasba Colony and Banaras. He appreciated the performance of Rangers and police, adding that he had directed Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to take strict action against culprits.

Apprising the media on the number of arrests, Malik said the police had arrested 17 suspects while Rangers had arrested 38 suspects.

Orangi operation

Police, on the orders of Interior Minister, carried out an operation in Orangi and detained over half a dozen suspects during raids in Bukhari Colony early Sunday morning.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Akram Abro said the arrested were suspected of being involved in the Banaras bridge target killing incident.

End of live updates


Altaf Hussain has thanked the citizens of Karachi for observing a “peaceful day of mourning”.

He has also called on traders to resume their business.


Traders have announced that they will reopen businesses starting 4pm today.

The All Karachi Businessmen Association has announced that business centres will remain open tomorrow.

According to the chairman, Atiq Mir, out of nine working days they have only been able to work for three which has resulted in a loss of Rs20 billion, therefore markets will remain open tomorrow.


Petrol pumps and CNG stations will reopen by 5pm today.


Police arrested two suspects from the Site B area and are not sure if they were involved in the current wave of violence in the city. A 7mm rifle and a TT pistol were recovered from the two suspects, who were identified as Abdul Hanif and Mohammad Imran.

DIG West Imran Yaqoob’s office said that a case of negligence had been lodged against four policemen who were supposed to be performing their duty at Banaras bridge on Friday night, but had not followed instructions.

A high level meeting is scheduled to be held at the Governor House at 3pm, where the police chief Additional IG Karachi Akhtar Gorchani is expected to give a briefing.


Three workers of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) were shot at and wounded in the area of Landhi, where party leader Afaq Ahmed resides.

Gunmen opened fire at the party activists at 8:15 am as they were standing next to shops that the armed men were forcibly shutting down. According to the MQM-H, their workers, and not the store, were targeted.

MQM-H worker Atlfua from Korangi was shot in the head and is in a critical state. He was first admitted to the Korangi hospital and has now been shifted to Jinnah hospital. Two other workers, Liaqat Ali and Abdul Ghaffar alias Soni, were also shot at and are being treated at the Jinnah hospital.

Ahmed split from the MQM (then called the Mohajir Qaumi Movement) in the 1990s and formed his own faction of the party. He was released from jail on December 17, 2011 after serving seven years.

The funeral prayers of MQM supporter Kamaluddin, who was killed in the attack at the Benaras Pul, will be offered on April 1 at Mohajir Chowk, Orangi Town and not on Saturday, as earlier stated by the party.


Express News correspondents reporting from different parts of the city said that traffic was low and businesses remained shut.

Parts of Sindh including Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar and Mirpurkhas have also seen businesses shut in some areas and traffic has also been reported to be low.

The Hyderabad to Karachi traffic route is reported to be closed, while traffic going from Hyderabad to other parts of Sindh is low.

Tyres were burnt by miscreants in parts of Hyderabad in the morning today. There were also reports of members of a nationalist party forcing businesses to reopen, which resulted in a clash between two groups.


The Awami National Party’s Senator Shahi Syed, who heads the party in Sindh, is expected to arrive in Karachi today.

According to ANP Sindh Information Secretary Pir Riaz Gul, Shahi Syed has welcomed the raid by the Rangers on Friday on the ANP headquarters, the Bacha Khan Markaz, as nothing was recovered in the raid.


Four police officers who were present at Banaras bridge during the firing incident last night have been arrested. A case will also be registered against them.


Petrol pumps are closed all over the city, while the security situation is reported to be volatile in the areas of Pak Colony, Nazimabad, Paposh, Korangi, Orangi, SITE, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Shah Faisal Colony and Manghopir.

A total of 14 people have been killed in Karachi since Friday.


Chief Justice of Sindh High Court, Musheer Alam on Saturday morning took notice of the chaos and worsening law and order situation in Karachi.

According to unofficial figures 430 citizens have been killed in incidents of firing during the first three months of 2012.

The chief justice of SHC has taken notice of the breakdown of law and order and resultant loss of lives in the city, said Registrar SHC Abdul Rasool Memon. The Director General Pakistan Rangers and Provincial Police Officer (PPO), commonly called Inspector General Police Sindh, were asked to file detailed reports by evening today, the registrar said.

CJ Musheer Alam is also the head of the monitoring committee formed on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the suo motu proceedings held in August 2011.


The MQM Coordination Committee has accused the Awami National Party of systematically killing Mohajirs, and has called on the Mohajir community to unite for the sake of its survival.


The funerals of MQM supporters killed at the Banaras bridge in Karachi last night will be held at Zuhr today. The funerals of Waseem and Hasan will take place in Liaquatabad, Sami Kamal’s will be held in Orangi Town and Kamaluddin’s funeral prayers will be offered in Qasba Colony.
Due to the outbreak of violence, the Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) called its people off the roads. “It will be difficult to run vehicles on Thursday as the situation is going to get worse,” said KTI’s Saad Mohammad Afridi.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2012.

Situation remains tense in Karachi, lawyer killed

By Abdul Hafeez - Apr 3rd, 2012 (No Comment)

Karachi: A lawyer was gunned down in Burns road area of Karachi on Tuesday.

According to reports Abid Hussain Advocate was targeted by armed riders.

His body was shifted to Civil Hospital.

On the other hand, tension continue to grip Lyari following the day of violence that took lives of at least 8 people, including a leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Miscreants blocked the road by burning tyres, adding to the miseries of residents of the area. They are facing severe difficulties as businesses were forced to close down and people are staying indoors.

On Monday, CID police launched operation against the banned People’s Amn Committee.
KARACHI:Aram Bagh Near Hamza Dawa khana Pe SSP Ki Firing Sy Momin Syd Naem Abbas Naqvi <35 Years> Shaheed Civil muntaqil
KARACHI: A man was killed when came under armed attack from some unknown men on Burns Road, Geo News reported.

The deceased was later identified as Naeem Abbas working as a clearing and forwarding agent. The police has cordoned of the crime scene to collect the evidences.

ImamiaCell KARACHI: Aram Bagh Near Hamza Dawa Khana Pr SSP Ki Firing Sy Rizvia K Rehaishi Azadar Naeem Abbas Naqvi [35 Years] Shaheed Civil Muntaqil.

arifaBatool RT @Dowctor: Someone shot dead at the Burns Road, near Civil Hospital Karachi. He was tied into relations which the killers murdered too.

Karachi: Man shot dead in Nazimabad
Updated 2 hours ago
[Karachi: Man shot dead in Nazimabad]

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KARACHI: A man was gunned down in an armed attack in the Nazimabad police limits on Monday.Asghar Hussain, 38, was shot dead when unidentified people riding a motorcycle intercepted his Suzuki Cultus near Eidgah situated in Nazimabad No 6 while he was returning home. The armed men after the incident managed to flee from the scene.

His body was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for legal formalities. The MLO said that Hussain suffered four bullet wounds. The police also found empties of a 9mm pistol from the spot which they sent to the Sindh Police Lab for forensic tests.

According to the police Hussain was the manager of Daimand CNG Pump. Police also claimed that Hussain was targeted.

He lived in the Surjani Town police jurisdiction.Meanwhile, a decomposed body of an unidentified 55-year-old man was found in the bushes near the Baloch Football Ground in the Sukkun police area. Some area people informed the police who shifted the body to the JPMC for legal formalities.

The MLO JPMC said that the body was at least three days old and he was killed with a sharp edged weapon. According to the police the deceased was a drug addict and was killed by another drug addict.


Police targeted: Taliban claim responsibility for Karachi suicide attack
By Web Desk / AFP / Shaheryar Mirza
Published: April 5, 2012

KARACHI: Four people were killed and up to 12 were injured on Thursday when the suicide bomber rammed his motorbike in an armoured personnel carrier in the Malir Halt area.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.

Brigadier Javed Iqbal of Pakistan Rangers confirmed that it was a suicide attack.

The armoured personnel carrier belonging to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malir Rao Anwar’s convoy was targetted in the attack.

“The attack was against me. I was moving with my squad in Malir Halt district when the explosion took place. I am unhurt, but some of my men have been injured,” Anwar told AFP.

He claimed to have been threatened for a month by “unknown terrorists”.

Police officials escaped unhurt while the people present at the site died and sustained injuries.

Anwar was also involved in last December’s raid on a self-styled seminary, where officers said they rescued students, including children as young as seven chained up in the basement, who said they had been regularly beaten.

SSP Anwar was on his way to court over the inquiry into the murder of ex-Malir Bar Association president Salahuddin. The banned outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba was strongly suspected.

The blast occurred near Afshan Printing Press.

Ball bearings were also used in the blast, which left dents in the armoured personnel carrier. One front tyre of the APC exploded.

Approximately 5 to 6kgs explosives were used in the blast.

The injured have been shifted to Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre. The police are facing a challenge identifying three bodies sent to JPMC because they are believed to be of beggars.

BSD and rescue teams had reached the blast site and had cordoned off the area.

One suspect has been arrested for investigation.

Nearby shops have been closed down.

Earlier, it was reported that Edhi sources had claimed that they had heard another blast, in the Malir 15 area. However, no official sources had confirmed the news.


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Terrorists target police in Karachi; 7 killed

* Four killed as suicide bomber hits Malir SSP’s convoy

* Surviving police officer blames Taliban for attack

* Three policemen gunned down in PIB Colony

By Atif Raza

KARACHI: Terrorists carried the day as seven policemen were killed in suicide and gun attacks in the city on Thursday.

In one of the incidents, a suicide bomber struck the convoy of Malir SSP Rao Anwar, killing four people and wounding 16 others. The SSP, who was in an armoured personnel carrier (APC), remained unhurt.

Anwar claimed he was the target of the blast, which tore through a busy area lined with market stalls at around 10:30am.

The officer said agencies had warned him against such an attack a month ago.

“[Following the warning], I had reduced my squad to avert a major loss of life,” the SSP said, blaming the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for the strike.

Earlier, there were reports that the bomber, riding a motorbike, had hit the APC. Authorities, however, later said the attacker was standing by a road stall near Malir Halt intersection and jumped in front of the APC as the SSP’s convoy passed by.

Officials of Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) and other rescue teams reached the site after the bombing and moved the bodies and injured to hospital.

Those who died included Lal Badshah, 50, Atta Muhammad, 60 and Adeel Ismail, 36. The injured included Yousuf, Tariq Ansari, Muhammad Ahmad, Muhammad Irfan, Arif, Hashmi, Ramiz, Iqbal, Tariq, Bilal, Yaseen, Monsif, Ahmer and Imam Deen. Three personnel of City Warden – Syed Ejaz, Inspector Malik Muhammad Ali and Iftikhar – were also wounded.

According to BDS, five kilogrammes of explosives had been used in the blast.

The day started with the target killing of three police officials in PIB Colony – an area that has been in the grip of violence for the last week or so.

Police said armed men, riding nearly half-a-dozen motorbikes and two cars, ambushed a Ferozabad police car and opened fire. Assistant sub-inspector Dhani Bukhsh and constables Ramzan Brohi and Muhammad Nisar were killed in the attack near Mina Bazaar, Aata Chakki bus stop.

“The attack took place little before 5am,” said Inspector Shahrukh, who is also PIB SHO. “It occurred very early in the morning and there are multiple witness accounts that led us to determine that the attackers were on motorbikes and cars,” the SHO added.

“The attackers used 9mm and 30-bore pistols as well as sub-machine guns,” said an investigator, adding, “They attacked the police car from a very close range.”

Sindh Home Minister Sindh Manzoor Wassan said that a conspiracy had been hatched to disturb order in the city.

Speaking to reporters, he said some forces were trying to stir ethnic riots in Karachi.

DIG (East) Tahir Naveed blamed “anti-state” elements for the bombing of the SSP’s convoy. He, however, ruled out any link between the bomb attack and ambush in PIB Colony.

An officer tasked with probing the attack on Rao Anwar said he had found leads about involvement of TTP and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the bombing.

“The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s Qari Attaur Rehman is seemed to be behind this attack,” the officer told Daily Times on condition of anonymity.

SSP Rao Anwar has no history of being in a direct combat with terrorists from TTP. He has, however, been in association with CID SSP Chaudhry Aslam for operations against anti-state elements. Aslam is a frontline officer in the war against terrorism and his Defence residence was blown up in a terrorist bombing last year.

President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the suicide attack at the motorcade of Rao Anwar. He expressed grief over the killings and said such incidents could not deter the government’s resolve to fight terrorism.

Target killings: 11 more people die in the city as killings continue unabated
By Our Correspondent
Published: April 8, 2012

Nine men were gunned down. PHOTO: FILE

In yet another wave of target killings, nine men were gunned down while two bodies were found in the city on Saturday, said the police.

A policeman, Rizwan Ahmed, died and two more, Raza and Imran, were injured when a police picket in Sohrab Goth was attacked late on Saturday evening. According to DSP Iftikhar Lodhi, the picket was set up after the Mehsud tribe protested against the nomination of inspector Azam Mehsud, his brother Sher Zaman and a friend Zubair Mehsud in the FIR lodged after the attack on Malir SSP Rao Anwar. Lodhi said that initial investigation suggested that the same people were behind the attack on these policemen. The victim and the injured were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

The police also detained 17 men who are in questioning. Within an hour, assailants targeted another hotel in Block H of North Nazimabad in which one man died and three others were injured. DSP Rasheed Khan said that all were affiliated with Pakistan Peoples Party. The victim, Shahid, was the former member of the party’s Zakat Committee.

Separately, a prayer leader, Arif Ejaz Khan, was shot dead outside a mosque situated in Akbar Baloch Goth in Steel Town in a drive-by shooting. In yet another attack, a taxi driver, Khursheed, was killed and two others, Murtaza and Anwer, were also injured in Shah Faisal Colony.

A teenager died in an explosion in his own house near Manora on Saturday night. Fourteen-year-old Sohail saw explosive material flowing in the water near his house in MAC Colony and began to play with it. SHO Madad Ali said Pakistan Navy was looking into the matter.

Earlier in the day, in Meena Bazaar, a 40-year-old pushcart vendor, Abdul Karim Ghanchi, was shot dead near his house, said the PIB Colony police. They claim that two motorcyclists shot at him twice and escaped. They suspect that Ghanchi was killed for being an informant of a rival group. However, ASI Rana Ajmal said that Ghanchi was not affiliated with any political party.

A rickshaw driver, Khurram, 24, alias Shani was killed in Landhi. He was a resident of Korangi. SHO Mazhar Awam said that he was killed near Landhi No.6.

Zar Gul, 46, was gunned down outside his house in Hazara Chowk, Orangi Town.SHO Waqar Jadoon said that Gul’s family suspected that he was killed over a personal enmity.

Barkat Khan, 23, was shot dead in Baldia Town in a drive-by shooting. The police said that Khan lived in Baldia Town and was a scavenger.

The body of an alleged Lyari gangster, 26-year-old Imran Baloch, was found near the DC office in North Nazimabad, said the Taimuria police. There were reports that he was a Pakistan Peoples Party leader in Manghopir but SHO Kamal Naseem said that he had a criminal record and was associated with a gang in Lyari. He added that Baloch had been arrested twice. The SHO claimed that Baloch was shot at three times by unidentified men in a car.

Shahid, 26, was found dead in Korangi. SHO Nail Mohammad Jakhrani said that Shahid was a resident of Shah Faisal Colony and used to work for a private company. He added that Shahid was kidnapped and shot in the head. He was from Punjab, had been married twice and might have been killed over a family dispute.

A seminary student, 17-year-old Mohammad Daud was shot dead in Ghazi Town. DSP Rao Iqbal said that Daud used to study at Madrassa Arabia Islamia and he was with somone when he was killed.

Sarwar Bahadur, a leader of the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, formerly known as banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, was injured when armed motorcyclists shot at him on Lasbela Road. Bahadur’s brother and an ASWJ supporter were also injured.
The Rangers spokesperson claimed that they had seized six repeater pistols, four Kalashnikovs, five TT pistols and bullets from a flat in Eidgah.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2012.
Sunday, April 08, 2012 E-Mail this article to a friend Printer Friendly Version
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Seven more killed in different acts of violence

KARACHI: Unabated target, sectarian killings and violence claimed seven more lives in different areas of the metropolis on Saturday.
Police found a bullet-riddled body of a man near DC Office North Nazimabad, within the limits of Taimooria police station. The victim was later identified as 25-year-old, Imran Baloch, son of Abdul Ghafoor Baloch, a resident of Sultanabad, Manghopir. SHO Kamal Naseem said unidentified men threw his body from a car and ran away from the scene. The victim had received four bullets. He was associated with a Lyari gang and arrested twice in the past. A few months ago, Baloch shifted from Ilyas Goth, Liaquatabad to Sultanabad, Manghopir. The body was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for medico-legal formalities and later handed over to the family. The case could not be registered till filing of this report.

Separately, an Afghani scavenger was shot dead in Baldia Town within the precincts of Baldia police station. The incident took place at sector 4 ½ of the town. Twenty two-year-old, Barkat Khan, was on his bicycle when unidentified armed men shot him in the head. He was a resident of Afridi Colony, Baldia and hailed from Afghanistan. The body was shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi for an autopsy. Police have registered a case against unidentified men on the complaint of state.

A man was shot dead in Mina Bazaar near floor mills within the jurisdiction of PIB police station.
The victim was identified as forty two-year-old Abdul Karim Ghanchi, a resident of PIB Colony. He used to run a pushcart at Mina Bazaar set up near floor mills. Unidentified armed motorcyclists shot twice, killing him on the spot. The body was shifted to the JPMC for postmortem. Inquiry Officer (IO) ASI Rana Ajmal said that the victim belonged to Ghanchi community and had no affiliation with any political party.

Police sources said he might have been killed over the suspicion of being a police informer. It is pertinent to mention here that PIB Mina Bazaar is the area most affected by target killings. Over the past two weeks, two real brothers and also MQM workers, three policemen and four other people have been killed in PIB and interestingly no one has been arrested. Tension engulfed the surrounding areas after the murder of Karim Ghanchi and all shops and markets remained closed.

Separately, a seminary student was shot dead near Madressah Arabia Islamia, Malir 15 within the remit of Malir City police station. 17-year-old Mohammad Dawood son of Abdul Ghafoor was with another seminary student when two armed motorcyclists shot him in the chest. After committing the crime, they managed to flee from the scene. Police shifted Dawood to the JPMC for medical treatment where he succumbed to the injuries. DSP Rao Iqbal said victim belonged to the Deoband sect and police were not sure if it was a target-killing incident.

Separately, police found the body of youngster from Korangi within the limits of Ibrahim Hyderi police station.
SHO Naik Mohammad Jakhrani said that the police received an information of the body lying in the shrubbery of sector 51-C, Korangi. They shifted the body to the JPMC for medico-legal formalities. Officer said victim was identified as 27-year-old, Shahid, a resident of Barelvi Colony, Shah Faisal Town. He used to work in a private company and had been missing since Friday night. SHO Jakhrani said victim was married twice and hailed from southern Punjab. He said some marital dispute might have motivated the incident but police did not find any evidence that could help establish the motive behind the murder. The case could not be registered till filing of this report.

Similarly, police found the body of a rickshaw driver near Navy building within the jurisdiction of Landhi police station. The victim was identified as 22-year-old Khurram alias Shani son of Sardar Ali, a resident of Korangi sector 51-B. SHO Mazhar Iqbal Awan said that the victim was plying rickshaw in the early hours of Saturday when unidentified men shot him in the head. The body was moved to the JPMC for an autopsy. Officer said victim’s family said he had no affiliation with any political or religious party and some personal enmity might have been the reason behind murder.

In another incident, a cloth merchant was killed near his house in Hazara Chowk, Orangi Town within the precincts of Pirabad police station. The victim, 45-year-old, Zar Gul, son of Sher Gul, was a resident of Hazara Chowk, Orangi Town No 4 sector E. He was sitting near his home when an armed man reached and shot him dead. SHO Waqar Jadoon said victim hailed from Afghanistan. He said Gul’s family informed the police that he hailed from Afghanistan and had some dispute with his nephew and other relatives which might have motivated the incident. The body was shifted to the ASH for postmortem.

Meanwhile, the law enforcement agencies recovered a huge cache of weapons from an apartment situated in Eidgah area. According to sources, a heavy contingent of Rangers conducted a raid in the flat of City Apartments and recovered six repeaters, four kalashnikovs, five TT pistols and several rounds. Sources informed that Rangers conducted this raid on a tip-off, however, no culprit could be arrested. On the other hand, Rangers spokesman denied the information, saying, “I have no information of the said raid and recovery of weapons.” staff report

Home | Karachi
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