Archive for the ‘bombing’ Category

In war-battered Gaza, Filipinos mull on the price of working abroad

January 11, 2009

With no end in sight, the red-hot Israel-Palestinian conflict completes its second week on January 11, 2009 with nearly 900 reported dead and many more wounded, about half of them are innocent non-combatants of war. Regardless of which side we may be in the decades-long hostilities, the clear message is that racial intolerance, religious bigotry, and territorial disputes don’t bring any good.

The duplicity in the exercise of diplomacy, the use of terrorism, and the rejection of a two-state solution by hardliners remain as huge stumbling blocks in bringing peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. The interference of countries that benefit from an unstable Middle East is partly to blame.

Civilians living in the Gaza Strip are in a crossfire that disrupts their lives and threatens their survival. In the bloody exchanges of a protracted cycle of violence, the innocents bear undeserved suffering. Among them are workers and migrants from the Philippines who come to this troubled part of the world mainly for economic reasons.

We can only sympathize with our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who put their lives on line to seek ways to survive and help their families back home. We can only ask for the cessation of the killings—an immediate ceasefire which is unheaded at this time.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA,) 16 Filipinos have left the war-torn area and arrived in Manila. Of the 121 still left in Gaza, 69 expressed their desire to evacuate, but the fierce fighting prevents them to do so. It is uncertain if this number includes the illegal Filipinos workers who take risky jobs in the shadows.

This brings us to the problem of our government which sorely lags behind in helping the people to be self-sufficient back home. If jobs and economic opportunities exist in the country, then there are few reasons for our kababayans to insist working in dangerous places like the Middle East. The cost to pay for family separations, isolation, and loneliness is incalculable. It’s sad that our cash-strapped government is in a losing policy of sending Filipinos abroad for the money they’ll earn for the nation’s economy. With no sign of stopping, our workers continue to suffer on their own, at times trapped in harm’s way.

Just to land a job, no matter how menial, has been a source of hope and pride among poor Filipinos who ignore the risks of travel outside the country. Yet, this is the reality of our society faces. Adding to the 10 million Filipinos already deployed abroad, a restless stream still wants to leave for the money.

The government must do better than what our officials think is good enough. There will be a season that host countries won’t justly pay for the services of Filipinos. To keep the country economically alive there’ll be a time when going abroad will be one of our most dreaded options. (Photo Credits: Aryty; Rusty Stewart x 7 photos) =0=

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At least 82 killed & hundreds injured in terror attacks in Mumbai, India

November 27, 2008

The fire rages in Taj Mahal and Oberoi, the two luxury hotels attacked by terrorists. The dead and wounded are at least 82 and 200 respectively and the numbers are expected to rise. There are reports that about 40 westerners mostly British and Americans are feared to have been seized as hostages by an obscure militant Islamic group called Decca Mujahideen.

It isn’t ascertained how many are stuck in the hotels. The number of hostages and their identities are not known at this time. Six (6) terrorists have been killed so far. The number of those injured may reach 700.

The bloody attacks have been carried out simultaneously in at least 7 different sites including places like the Chhatrapati Shivaji rail station, Leopold restaurant, Cama, Albless, and G.T. Hospitals.

David Miliband, Britain’s foreign secretary strongly condemning the violence asserted, “Today’s attacks in Mumbai which have claimed many innocent victims remind us, yet again, of the threat we face from violent extremists.” Similar condemnation came from White House spokesman Tony Fratto who said, “We condemn these attacks and the loss of innocent life.”—AP (11/27/08, Badam, RT

Although the motive of the senseless carnage which occurred on Wednesday night on November 26, 2008 isn’t known, the world can just watch in horror the barbarity of terrorist groups who prey on the innocents to gain attention and advance their warped agenda for the world. As of this writing, guns are fired and bombs are detonated without clear end. This violent incident makes the fight against terror unrelenting—ever more real today and in the future.


Cascade of Terrorist Attacks in India Killing Scores of Innocent People (Source: IBN Live, 11/27/08)

• Mumbai, Nov 26, 2008: Several killed and many more injured in seven terror attacks targetting mostly foreigners’ hangout places.
•Assam, Oct 30, 2008: At least 45 killed (figure can change) and over 100 injured in 18 terror bombings across Assam.
• Imphal, Oct 21, 2008: 17 killed in a powerful blast near Manipur Police Commando complex.
• Kanpur, Oct 14, 2008: Eight people injured after bomb planted on a rented bicycle went off Colonelganj market.
• Malegaon, Maharashtra, Sep 29, 2008: Five people died after a bomb kept in a motorbike went off in a crowded market.
• Modasa, Gujarat, Sep 29 2008: One killed and several injured after a low-intensity bomb kept on a motorcycle went off near a mosque.
• New Delhi, Sep 27, 2008: Three people killed after a crude bomb was thrown in a busy market in Mehrauli.
• New Delhi, Sep 13, 2008: 26 people killed in six blasts across the city.
• Ahmedabad, July 26, 2008: 57 people killed after 20-odd synchronised bombs went off within less than two hours.

• Bangalore, July 25, 2008: One person killed in a low-intensity bomb explosion.
• Jaipur, May 13, 2008: 68 people killed in serial bombings.
• Hyderabad, Aug 25, 2007: 42 people killed in two blasts, at a popular eatery and a public park.
• Samjhauta Express, Feb 19, 2007: 66 people killed after two firebombs went off on the India-Pakistan friendship train.
• Malegaon, Maharashtra, Sep 8, 2006: 40 people killed in two blasts.
• Mumbai, July 11, 2006: 209 people killed in seven blasts on suburban trains and stations.
• Varanasi, March 7, 2006: 21 people killed in three blasts including one at a temple and another at a railway station.
• New Delhi, Oct 29, 2005: 61 people killed in three blasts on the eve of Diwali.
• Mumbai, Aug 25, 2003: 46 people killed in two blasts including one near the Gateway of India.
• Gandhinagar, Sep 24, 2002: 34 people killed in the attack on the Akshardham temple. (Photo Credits: AP/GautamSingh; AP/GautamSingh; Reuters/ArkoDatta; AFP; AFP/IndraniMukherjee; AP/GautamSingh) =0=

UPDATE: The rising death toll and number of people injured are as follows: November 26, 2008 10:40 PM (Eastern US Time) Death toll—101; AP November 27, 2008 8:41 PM—104 dead; 314 wounded.