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Two eyes for a tooth

KARACHI (AsiaNews): The government in Pakistan set about taking two eyes for a tooth when it launched a bloody crackdown on Islamist terror groups in retaliation for the February 16 attack on a Sufi temple in the Sindh, which left 80 people dead.

Police have been rampaging around Karachi and other major cities in the country, reporting that they have flushed out and killed over 100 people suspected of terrorist activities. Islamabad is also pressuring Kabul to return 76 more that are in hiding in Afghanistan.

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Paralleling religion and terrorism

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Chinese government has tightened the screws on religious freedom in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region with new regulations providing for parents and guardians to be reported if they force children to take part in religious activities.

The new regulations in the Muslim-majority state were passed by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional People’s Congress on September 29 and will come into effect on November 1.

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Good Muslims obstacle to Islamic State

Dhaka and Baghdad (Agencies): Christian leaders in Bangladesh condemned the July 7 terrorist attack on the country’s largest Eid al-Fitr prayer gathering in Kishoreganj, UCA News reported.

Four people were killed and 30 injured when a group of Islamic extremists threw bombs and shot at police outside the venue where around 300,000 people had gathered to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

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Bangladesh cringes under terrorist deaths

BONPARA (UCAN): About 500 people staged a protest along a major highway to demand justice for the killing of a Catholic owner of a grocery store in northwestern Bangladesh on June 5.

Seventy-two-year-old Sunil Gomes was hacked to death in his shop near Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bonpara, Natore district, at around midday on June 5.

Gomes had worked as a gardener at the church for years and only opened his small business about three years ago.

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Dispersing fear after Lahore bomb attack

Lahore (UCAN): Dispersing fear in the wake of the bomb attack that shattered the peace of Easter Sunday on March 27 in the  Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, is a major part of the support work being done by Caritas for the victims (Sunday Examiner, April 10).

A Caritas programme is providing trauma counselling to those affected by the bombing.

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Bishop denounces hostage beheading

MANILA (Agencies): Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga has condemned the beheading of a Canadian tourist held hostage for months by the Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao.

The bishop, who chairs the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, expressed outrage over the execution of a 68-year old Canadian man, John Ridsdel, who was abducted from a resort along with three others in September last year.

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Christians and Muslims stand against terrorism

LAHORE (AsiaNews): Leaders from the Islamic and Catholic faiths came together to lead an interfaith vigil in memory of the 76 people who died in the March 27 Easter Sunday terror attack in Lahore, Pakistan, on April 2.

Although it was claimed by the perpetrators that Christians were the target of the attack, in fact, only 17 of the dead have been identified as Christian and the bulk of the remainder are Muslim.

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Crazed violence in Pakistan and Iraq

HONG KONG (SE): In claiming responsibility for a bomb that exploded around 6.30pm in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in the city of Lahore in Pakistan on Easter Sunday, March 27, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan Jamaatul Ahrar said it had intentionally targeted the Christian community at Easter.

It is believed that a suicide bomber was responsible for the carnage from the same group that claimed responsibility for attacks on two churches in Lahore in March last year, when 15 people died and 70 were injured.

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An attack on all Pakistan

LAHORE (SE): As a sign that the attack on people gathered in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in the city of Lahore is an attack on all of Pakistan, candlelight vigils for the dead and wounded have been attended by people from all faiths and all walks of life.

Muslims, Hindus, Christians and other groups have joined hands in condemning the attack in the strongest possible way.

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Good Friday came to Brussels early

BRUSSELS (SE): Good Friday came early to the Belgium capital of Brussels when two bombs exploded at Zaventem Airport around 8.00am and another at Maelbeek Metro Station around 9.00am on Tuesday of Holy Week, March 22.

“Good Friday has come three days early with these totally absurd actions,” Bishop Jean Kockerols, from Mechelen-Brussels, said on a Belgium bishops’ website broadcast.

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