Militants blow up video shops in Pakistan

June 4th, 2008 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, June 4 (DPA) At least three people were injured Wednesday when suspected Islamic militants blew up about two dozen music and video shops in two blasts in north-western Pakistan, officials and witnesses said. The injuries occurred when a bomb planted inside a music shop in the Kohat district of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) exploded, damaging the building.

“All of the injured are in critical condition,” said Farid Afridi, a medical officer at the local hospital.

A bomb also ripped through a market in Miranshah, the main town in the restive tribal district of north Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. Eighteen video shops and two houses were damaged, but no one was injured.

The attacks were the latest in a series of bombings on such shops over the past year and a half in tribal areas and parts of the adjacent NWFP, where Islamic militants have tried to impose Taliban-style rule.

“The Taliban arrived in two trucks after midnight,” a witness who only gave the name Qalandar said. “They were armed with automatic rifles and rocket launchers. They planted the explosives at two spots in the market and detonated them before leaving.”

The owners had earlier received warnings to abandon their business.

“The Taliban suspected that the shops were selling and renting out CDs and videos containing pornographic films,” Qalandar said.

But music vendor Abdul Samad rejected the allegations, saying the shops only sold CDs of Indian and Pakistani movies and songs.

“We were not doing business in anything that could be called obscene,” he said, adding that the shops were also selling jihadi CDs released by the Taliban.

Pakistan’s Islamic militants - who are ideologically affiliated with the Taliban, Afghanistan’s former fundamentalist rulers - consider music and films un-Islamic.

They have tried to impose their version of Islam in the lawless tribal areas by setting up Taliban courts, which punish people with the severing of a hand for theft and stoning for adultery.

Pakistan’s new government has started peace negotiations with the militants, who have carried out dozens of suicide attacks on security personnel, killing more than 4,000 people since the beginning of 2007.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |