Bloodshed in Pakistan and Afghanistan...

October 28, 2009

Attacks hit civilans in both Pakistan and Afghanistan early in the day. A car bomb tore apart a market in Peshawar, in northwestern Pakistan. The number of dead has been climbing all morning. As of about 11 a.m. ET, it's at least 91. And about 200 more people were injured. Many of the victims are women and children, as the market sells clothing, toys, bangles, etc.

No one has claimed responsibility -- but the Pakistani government accuses Taliban militants angered at the current army offensive in South Waziristan. Pakistani soldiers have been pounding the Taliban stronghold for almost two weeks.

Today's attack actually happened hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad. She's in the country to show American support for the Pakistan government's fight against militants.

At a news conference following his meeting with Clinton, Pakistan's Foreign Minister said he wanted to directly address those responsible for the attacks. He said, " We will not buckle. We will fight you. We will fight you because we want stability and peace in Pakistan. You are on the run and we know that."

Taliban miltants HAVE claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Afghanistan today. Gunmen stormed a guest house used by the United Nations in Kabul. Six U.N. workers were killed. One of them was an American; the nationalities of the others have not been confirmed. Attackers also launched rocket attacks at the presidential palace and at a hotel frequented by foreigners. The hotel rocket didn't fully explode, but filled the lobby with smoke -- and of course terrified staff and guests.

A Taliban spokesperson says the motive for the Kabul attacks is to stop the upcoming presidential runoff on November 7th. Militants continue to threaten people against voting. The United Nations are assisting in the election -- and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon vows that will continue.
As far as the Canadian response goes, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon says the international community won't be deterred from supporting Afghans' right to vote -- and that Canada's support will not change.

Nicole Ireland, Producer, World Report

Nicole Ireland, Producer, World Report