Hangu Blast and the Call for Peace – Ernest Dempsey, Pakistan

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Ernest Dempsey is one of MAKEPEACE.ORG ‘S esteemed friends…from Pakistan. He reported to us directly on this incident, as it occurred practically in his backyard! THANKS, ERNEST….Skyler!

Note: Ernest Dempsey is a graduate of Geology and English Literature. He hails from Hangu, a small town in Pakistan, and is the author of four published books. At the end of this article please find a video interview about one of this books, THE BLUE FAIRY, and hear Ernest.

It was another terrible day in the history of Hangu city (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan) recently as a suicide bombing attack claimed over a dozen lives and injured over two dozen others while also causing heavy damage to property. The blast was made by an explosives-laden vehicle that was rammed into a hospital construction site in Pas Kalay, the neighborhood inhabited by most of the city’s Shia sect population.

The blast took place between 4:30 and 5:00 pm. Made with an estimated 250 kg of explosives (according to new sources), it was heard throughout the city. Many houses were damaged heavily in and around the neighborhood, almost exclusively of Shia sect members. But those of Sunni sect people also were damaged in about half a kilometer distance. Window panes were broken and doors came off in some houses.

The injured were rushed to the hospital. It was feared immediately after the terrible event that the attack may trigger sectarian clashes, as happens almost every year in Hangu during this particular Islamic month of Moharram. However, the positive side of this blood-drenched incident is that both Shia and Sunni understood that some vicious elements with vested interest are trying to ignite the sectarian violence. Not only have they refrained from reacting angrily to the situation but with mutual understanding, the trade union of the town has announced closing down markets for a few days to mourn the loss of life and the fear inflicted on innocent lives.

While security, usually claimed “fool-proof”, has repeatedly failed in stopping suicide-bombing incidents, the respect for each other exhibited in the latest incident is a streak of hope that ultimately peace will prevail over terror.

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