Marriott destroyed, 30-foot crater...fanatics are useless boils - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Marriott destroyed, 30-foot crater...fanatics are useless boils

No claim of responsibility yet, but still an awful tragedy likely wrought by fanatic zealots...


Large explosion at Marriott in Pakistan
At least 40 killed at Marriott, which is popular with foreigners

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A huge suicide truck bomb devastated the heavily guarded Marriott Hotel in Pakistan's capital Saturday, killing at least 40 people and engulfing the building in flames in a sickening reminder of the threat in a country vital to the U.S.-led war on terror.

The White House condemned the attack, calling it a "reminder of the threat we all face."

"The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack that took place in Islamabad, Pakistan," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe. "The United States will stand with Pakistan's democratically elected government as they confront this challenge."

The five-floor Marriott has been a favorite place for foreigners as well as Pakistani politicians and business people to stay and socialize in Islamabad despite repeated militant attacks. It served as the de facto back office for the international media during the 2001 war against the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

Officials said at least 250 people were injured, NBC News reported. Two hospitals said 10 foreigners were among those in their treatment, including one each from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Afghanistan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. But Pakistan has faced a wave of militant violence in recent weeks following army-led offensives against insurgents in its border regions. The method carried out in the blast also "bears all the hallmarks of an attack by al-Qaida," one senior terrorism official told NBC News.

The capital has not been spared from recent clashes, though Saturday's blast appeared to be one of the largest ever terrorist attacks in the country.

Senior police official Asghar Raza Gardaizi said the blast, which reverberated throughout Islamabad, was caused by more than a ton of explosives.

The blast left a vast crater, some 30 feet deep in front of the main building, where flames poured from the windows and rescuers ferried a stream of bloodied bodies from the gutted building. More were feared trapped inside the hotel as crews tried to extinguish flames from the blast, NBC News' Fakhar Rehman reported.

Witnesses and officials said a large truck had rammed the high metal gate of the hotel at about 8 p.m., when the restaurants would have been packed with dinners, including Muslims breaking the Ramadan fast.

Senior police official Asghar Raza Gardaizi said rescuers had counted at least 40 bodies at the scene and he feared that there "dozens more dead inside."

Associated Press reporters saw at least nine bodies scattered at the scene. Scores of people, including foreigners, were running out — some of them stained with blood.

Witnesses spoke of a smaller blast followed by a much larger one.

'Smoke and darkness'
A U.S. State Department official led three colleagues through the rubble from the charred building, one of them bleeding heavily from a wound on the side of his head.

One of the four, who identified himself only as Tony, said they had begun moving toward the rear of the Chinese restaurant after the first blast when the second one threw them against the back wall.

"Then we saw a big truck coming to the gates," he said. "After that it was just smoke and darkness."

U.S. Embassy spokesman Lou Fintor said officials were trying to account for embassy staff and any other Americans affected. He said he had no other details.

Ambulances rushed to the area, picking their way through the charred carcasses of vehicles that had been in the street outside. Windows in buildings hundreds of meters away were shattered.

Mohammad Sultan, a hotel employee, said he was in the lobby when something exploded, he fell down and everything temporarily went dark.

"I didn't understand what it was, but it was like the world is finished," he said.

A senior U.S. counter terrorism official told NBC News that while it is "too early" to say who is responsible for the attack in Islamabad, "the attack bears all the hallmarks of an attack by al- Qaida or al-Qaida associates" like the Taliban.

"Al-Qaida has to be at the top of the list," said the official, noting the sophistication of the attack and the large volume of explosives used in it. "There are no claims we are aware of it," he added, but suggested it would not be long before there will be one.

Recent violent surge
Pakistan has faced a wave of militant violence in recent weeks following army-led offensives against insurgents in its border regions.

In July, a suicide bombing killed at least 18 people, most of them security forces, and wounded dozens in Islamabad as supporters of the Red Mosque gathered nearby to mark the anniversary of the military siege on the militant stronghold.

In June, a suicide car bomber killed at least six people near the Danish Embassy in Islamabad. A statement attributed to al-Qaida took responsibility for that blast, believed to have targeted Denmark over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

In mid-March, a bomb explosion at an Italian restaurant killed a Turkish woman in the capital, and wounded 12 others, including four FBI officials.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #2 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 03:25 PM
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but but we're winning!!!! ???
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post #3 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 03:28 PM
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We should show the fanatic zealots compassion & love.
We just don't under stand that's it's our fault anyway!

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post #4 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 03:48 PM
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but but we're winning!!!! ???
Who said we are winning?
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post #5 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 03:59 PM
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Good news! drewprof and MP have finally found some common ground. You both seem to think this is a U.S. issue. Sorry, not feelin' it. I mean it's a tragedy and all, but it isn't our tragedy.

Or did McCain decide that Pakistan is also part of Latin America?

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post #6 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 04:01 PM
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Who said we are winning?
Winning what? Cubs are up 5-4.

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post #7 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 04:07 PM
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Good news! drewprof and MP have finally found some common ground. You both seem to think this is a U.S. issue. Sorry, not feelin' it. I mean it's a tragedy and all, but it isn't our tragedy.

Or did McCain decide that Pakistan is also part of Latin America?
Oops

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post #8 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 04:25 PM
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Maybe the US should invest in a comprehensive truck-bomb shield that will span the ME and Indian subcontinent
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post #9 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 04:29 PM
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Winning what? Cubs are up 5-4.
Ha' Cubbies are in!


My Bravos suck
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post #10 of 101 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 04:31 PM
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Well shit, it was a nice 30-year run, or however long it was.

Nuthin's forever...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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