Three terrorist attacks in Israel, Pakistan and Nepal on Tuesday caused nearly 200 deaths.
Just as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was sitting down with George Bush in Washington, hoping to sell a peace plan which eliminated Palestinian President Yasser Arafat from the process due to supposed links with terrorism, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a snooker hall in Rishon Le Zion, near Tel Aviv, killing (to date) 16 people and wounding around 50.
As a result, Ariel Sharon is expected to cut short his trip to the USA. The timing of the bombing could not have come at a more critical moment and was clearly intended to scupper any forthcoming peace talks. The radical Palestinian group Hamas had vowed to wreak revenge for the IDF massacre in Jenin and claimed responsibility for this outrage, the first suicide bombing in Israel since 30th March.
Hamas had previously criticised Yasser Arafat strongly for allowing the deportation of 123 Palestinian gunmen besieged in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Yesterday’s attack will have been programmed to undermine Arafat’s authority, placing him in the position of a leader who has lost control of the situation.
In Karachi, Pakistan, a suicide bomber has killed 14 people and wounded 22 others. It is thought the bomber entered a bus transporting hotel employees. The bus belonged to a subsidiary of the French company DGA (General Direction of Armament). Ten French people were among the dead and 16 were wounded.
The French personnel were said to have been working on the construction of a Pakistani submarine (the Agosta 90-B class). On 17th March, a terrorist attack on a protestant church killed five and wounded 40 in Islamabad.
The attacks on the foreign community in Pakistan is believed to be linked to the war against terror in Afghanistan.
In Rolpa, eastern Nepal, an attack by Maoist guerrillas has left 140 government policemen and soldiers dead. This attack comes one week after a government offensive against terrorist training camps killed 600 guerrillas.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru