Tag Archives: pakistan

Riots Turn Deadly After the Rape and Murder of a 7-Year-Old Girl in Pakistan

Two protesters have been killed after the rape and murder of a young girl in Pakistan set off deadly riots and a worldwide call for justice across social media.

The body of seven-year-old Zainab was found in a trash heap in Kasur, northeast Pakistan on Tuesday, days after her family had reported her missing, according to Pakistan paper Dawn.

Police believe she was raped and strangled to death, the latest victim in a spate of kidnappings and murders of young girls in the city.

Continue reading Riots Turn Deadly After the Rape and Murder of a 7-Year-Old Girl in Pakistan

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39 dead in Indian flooding

The death toll from severe flooding in Indian-controlled Kashmir rose to at least 39, as overwhelmed local authorities requested help from federal rescue officials.

Rain continued to fall in much of the Himalayan region, forcing thousands to abandon their homes.

Officials said the deaths from flooding and landslides caused by four days of rain included five bodies recovered after a bus carrying more than 50 members of a wedding party was swept away in a stream.

Four passengers managed to swim to safety and rescuers are searching for the others.

Continue reading 39 dead in Indian flooding

Iran Opens Extension Of Key Port

Iran has officially opened an extension of its southeastern port of Chabahar, which Tehran hopes will become a key transit hub for land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asia.

State TV said President Hassan Rohani attended the inauguration on December 3 along with dignitaries from India, Qatar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries.

“Through this port, goods will be delivered to neighboring countries at cheaper prices and in a shorter time,” Rohani said at the ceremony.

Continue reading Iran Opens Extension Of Key Port

New York City: ‘Islamic State attack plot’ is revealed

A jihadist plot to attack New York City including Times Square and the subway system was foiled with the help of an undercover FBI agent, officials say.

One man in the US and two others in Pakistan and the Philippines are under arrest and face charges of plotting the attacks which they hoped to carry out in the name of the Islamic State group.

One of the suspects allegedly said he wanted to create “the next 9/11”.

Continue reading New York City: ‘Islamic State attack plot’ is revealed

Twitter ‘misplaces’ Taliban official in Pakistan

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A senior spokesman for the Taliban has denied that he is in Pakistan, after one of his tweets located him there.

Zabihullah Mujahid appeared to have had his location tagged to his Twitter updates on Friday, labelling him as being in “Sindh, Pakistan”.

He dismissed the location as an “enemy plot”, tweeting that he was definitely in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is often accused of having covert links with the Taliban, an allegation it denies.

After Twitter users noticed the labelling, he tweeted: “My Twitter account has been manipulated – as part of weak efforts of enemy plot, it showed that I am based in Sindh of Pakistan, I call this attempt as fake and shame [sic].”

“Now, the enemy’s fake act has been exposed, and with full confidence, I can say that I am in my own country.”

His exact location is a secret. However, many Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to seek shelter in neighbouring Pakistan.

Nanga Parbat: summit and first winter ascent by Simone Moro, Ali Sadpara and Alex Txikon

On Friday 26 February 216 Italy’s Simone Moro, Spain’s Alex Txikon and Pakistan’s Ali Sadpara successfully carried out the historic first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat (8126m, Karakorum, Pakistan). Italy’s Tamara Lunger stopped her bid on the ridge below the summit. Towards 20:00 circa (Pakistan time) all four alpinists returned to Camp 4 at 7100m.

Good things come to those who wait. And the waiting game certainly paid off for the Italians Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro, Spain’s Alex Txikon and Pakistan’s Hassan Ali Sadpara. They held on to their beliefs, adapted where necessary, changed plans, combined forces and resisted even when everyone (or almost everyone) no longer thought it was possible.

Their ‘journey’ lasted two months and a half. A period marked by the eternal waiting game, by high winds, ‘polar’ temperatures, terrible weather but also disappointments, sudden changes of plans and a thousand other obstacles that needed dealing with. Then, almost unexpectedly, the fleeting moment arrived and they managed to seize it.

At 15:37 local time today Moro, Txikon and Sadpara reached the summit of Nanga Parba while Tamara Lunger halted her attempt lower down, a truly immense achievement as she had not been feeling well since early this morning. The news regarding the summit was anounced by Igone Mariezkurrena directly from Base Camp, after having received comunication from the team of alpinists via walkie talkie. This is now the first time that the Naked Mountain has been climbed in winter.

A fact which – regardless of how people choose to view it – adds another important chapter to the history of winter mountaineering on the 8000m giants, and not only. It’s worth bearing in mind that prior to today’s success, Nanga Parbat had been attempted in winter by 30 or so previous expeditions. As of today, the only summit missing off the list of the 14 highest mountains climbed in winter is K2.

Another fundamental piece of information: Base Camp reported the much-awaited news that (at circa 20:00 local time, 16:00 CET) all four alpinists had returned to Camp 4 a 7100m. Circa 14 hours had passed since setting off from Camp 4, and 5 days since leaving Base Camp! Lunger, Moro, Txikon and Sadpara now need to complete the final important act. Another night and another day (or two) on the mountain lie in store.

Nanga Parbat (8126m) on 26 February 2016 when it was climbed for the first time in winter by Simone Moro, Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara. The fourth member of the team, Tamara Lunger, stopped on the ridge just short of the summit.

They (and we) are comforted by the fact that the weather forecast is good. We’ll wait for them at Base Camp, when it really is all over. In the meantime it’s worth recognising that this summit represents, for each of the four alpinists (we’d also like to add Tamara to these three successful summiters), an absolutely cutting-edge achievement. For Simone Moro this mountain is now his fourth first winter ascent of an 8000er, after  Shisha Pangma (2005), Makalu (2009) and Gasherbrum II (2011). No one has achieved more than this!

Alex Txikon, Simone Moro, Ali Sadpara and Tamara Lunger at Base Camp before setting off for the historic first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat

Alex Txikon is the first Spanish mountaineer to add his name to the hall of fame of first winter ascents on one of the 14 eightthousanders. And, last but certainly not least, there’s Ali Sadpara. In the words of Moro: “he’s a great alpinist!” Sadpara is unsurprisingly considered Pakistan’s most successful mountaineer and, apart from being the first Pakistani to climb an 8000er in winter, with this summit he has now climbed all five of his country’s 8000ers as well as Mt. Everest.

Nanga Parbat in winter, the naked mountain at night

His success crowns last year’s unsuccessful bid that ground to a halt, together with Italy’s Daniele Nardi and Txikon at 7,800m… “off route” while on their way to the summit. At the time the trio descended in order to make a second summit push the next day, but Sadpara then felt unwell and this plan was abandoned.

For her part, Tamara Lunger has proven – regardless of the “non summit” – her true workhorse strength once again. Furthermore it’s worth noting that she was the only member of this 4-person team to not have attempted Nanga Parbat previously in winter.

Nanga Parbat in winter

We mentioned that many had almost stopped believing in today’s summit. And in effect, everything or almost everything took place during the last couple of days. At 5:30am on 22 February the four alpinists set off from Base Camp on the Diamir side of the mountain. Their aim, agreed on a long time ago, was to follow the Kinshofer route, first climbed in 1962 by Toni Kinshofer, Anderl Mannhardt and Siegfried Loew along the Diamir Face.

Nanga Parbat in winter

This is considered the “normal” route up Nanga Parbat, the second to be climbed after the legendary first solo ascent carried out by Hermann Buhl in 1953. Moro and Lunger had opted for this route only recently, initially they had planned to climb the Messner – Eisendle route but the serac above the starting traverse loomed too dangerously overhead.

Hence the consensual decision to join forces with Txikon and Sadpara on the Kinshofer line. In truth initially it seemed as if Daniele Nardi would form part of this team, but the Italian subsequently returned home as other components had done before him, belonging to other expeditions (this winter 6 expeditions had set their sights on this mountain).

Nanga Parbat in winter

As mentioned, the four had set off from Base Camp on 22 February. After 10 hours of “hard work” they reached Camp 2 at 6200m. Nothing could be taken for granted at this stage, there were still far too many doubts. Starting with their lack of acclimatisation.

Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, Simone Moro and Tamara Lunger before setting off for the historic first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat

Due to the impeding weather (and avalanches), the maximum altitude Txikon and Sadpara had reached was 6700m, while Lunger and Moro had only climbed as high as 6100m. Furthermore, the pit stop at Camp 2 lasted all of 23 February due to… stormy conditions in true Nanga Parbat style.

Nanga Parbat in winter: the view from Camp 3 at 6700m towards the summit

Karl Gabl, the magic Austrian weather forecaster, had predicted the following: very favourable conditions were expected for Friday 26, but above all Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February. Which meant that should they succeed in gaining height on Thursday and reach Camp 4 at 7100m, and should they then make their summit push on Friday, they’d have another two days to descend in good weather.

Nanga Parbat in winter

In the meantime though they still had almost 2000m of climbing looming above them, coupled with the unknown route conditions and, above all, questions about how their bodies would react to the altitude. As Moro stated, the chances of scoring a winter ascent on an 8000m peak are always tiny.

Nanga Parbat in winter: Tamara Lunger

Fortunately on Wednesday 24 February the storm settled and the team set off once again. After a mere five hours they reached Camp 3 at 6700m. They were on form, could see the summit but… were separated from this by 1400 long meters. The route above was still eternal. Nevertheless, they continued to climb according to schedule. On Thursday 25 they reached Camp 4 at 7200m.

Nanga Parbat in winter

Now another 1000m vertical height gain remained to be climbed, the highest, the most unpredictable of all. Anything could still happen. All that could be done now was cross fingers and… hope.

Nanga Parbat in winter

The rest, as they say, is history. Written only a few hours ago. For the first time ever the summit of Nanga Parbat was reached in winter by Simone Moro, Alex Txikon and Ali Sadpara.

Nanga Parbat in winter: Tamara Lunger

Tamara Lunger stopped slightly short of the summit, somewhere along the ridge. Given the time of day, her decision to turn back was obligatory and absolutely the right one. Time had run out: only two or three hours separated the four from total darkness.

Nanga Parbat in winter: Simone Moro

And, at this point, the only summit they now had to reach was Camp 4, a thousand meters below them. They had made another good decision. Like a true team. Now we’ll wait for them to reach Base Camp. Another extremely important objective, the most beautiful one of all!

Nanga Parbat in winter: Tamara Lunger

by Vinicio Stefanello

UPDATE 27/02/2016 at 14:30
All have descended to Base Camp! Tamara Lunger, Simone Moro, Ali Sadpara and Alex Txikon have returned safely: the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat has been successfully completed. Congratulations!

Al-Qaeda leader announces India wing

Ayman al-Zawahiri says his armed group will “raise the flag of jihad” across parts of India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has announced the formation of an Indian branch of his global armed group that he said would spread Islamic rule and “raise the flag of jihad” across the subcontinent.

In a video spotted in online “jihadist” forums on Wednesday by the SITE terrorism monitoring group, Zawahiri said the new force would “crush the artificial borders” dividing Muslim populations in the region.

Al-Qaeda is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where its surviving leadership are thought to be hiding out, but Zawahiri said the group would take the fight to India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

“This entity was not established today but is the fruit of a blessed effort of more than two years to gather the mujahedeen in the Indian sub-continent into a single entity,” he said.

Founded by Osama bin Laden, who was killed in Pakistan by US commandos in May 2011, al-Qaeda has long claimed leadership of the self-declared jihadists fighting to restore a single caliphate in Muslim lands.

But since the death of its figurehead, it has been somewhat eclipsed, first by its own offshoots in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and now by the so-called “Islamic State” fighting in Iraq and Syria.

While still regarded as a threat to the West, the group has never managed carry out another attack on the scale of the September 11, 2001 attacks by hijacked airliners on New York and Washington.

But, in launching “Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian sub-continent,” Zawahiri may be attempting to recapture some of the limelight for his group and to exploit existing unrest in Kashmir and Myanmar.

“It is an entity that was formed to promulgate the call of the reviving imam, Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah have mercy upon him,” Zawahiri said.

‘Waging jihad’

Zawahiri called on the “umma,” or Muslim nation, to unite around “tawhid,” or monotheism, “to wage jihad against its enemies, to liberate its land, to restore its sovereignty and to revive its caliphate.”

He said the group would recognise the overarching leadership of the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar and be led day-to-day by senior Pakistani fighter Asim Umar.

The 55-minute video begins with stock footage of the late bin Laden giving a sermon, before cutting to a satellite map of southwest Asia, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and the Horn of Africa.

Then it cuts to a white-bearded Zawahiri, in a white turban and glasses, against the backdrop of a brown floral curtain and desk with hardback books and a tin holding ballpoint pens and prayer beads.

Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri speaks from an unknown location, in this still image taken from video uploaded on a social media website June 8, 2011. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV

Umar also speaks in the video – using the Urdu language of Pakistan rather than the Egyptian doctor Zawahiri’s native Arabic – along with a new group spokesman identified as Usama Mahmoud.

The video is produced by Al-Qaeda’s usual media arm, the As-Sahab Media Foundation – “The Cloud” – and SITE reported that it had been widely distributed on jihadist online forums.

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