Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Twelve people were killed Friday in an attack on a U.N. compound in northern Afghanistan that followed a demonstration against the reported burning last month of a Quran in Florida, authorities said.
The fatalities comprised seven U.N. workers and five demonstrators, officials said.
Another 24 people were wounded, said Abdul Rauof Taj, security director of Balkh province.
Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the police in Mazar-e-Sharif, told reporters that a number of suspects “who might be the main organizers” had been arrested.
U.N. Peacekeeping Director Alain Le Roy said the seven U.N. fatalities were international staffers — three civilians and four international security guards. No Afghan U.N. staff members were among the dead, he said.
“I understand there were hundreds, if not thousands, of demonstrators. Some of them were clearly armed and they stormed into the building.”
He said the security guards tried their best to halt the demonstrators’ advance, but were overwhelmed.
Le Roy said it was not clear that the United Nations was the target. “It happened to be the U.N. because the U.N. is on the ground.”
Five demonstrators were killed in the violence; one person’s throat was cut, he said.
A U.N .source said the dead included four Nepalese security guards as well as U.N. workers from Norway, Sweden and Romania.
The U.N. Security Council met Friday and issued a statement condemning the attack, which occurred at the operations center of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and calling on the Afghan government to investigate.
Haji Sakhi Mohammad, a businessman in Mazar-e-Sharif, said that the incident began after Friday prayers, when many people joined a protest against the burning of the Quran. People calling “Death to America” marched to the U.N. compound and broke in, he said. At that, gunfire broke out and “I saw protesters shot to death.”
A student in Mazar-e-Sharif said he and his friends joined the protesters, who numbered in the hundreds. “When we reached the UNAMA office, we came under gunfire by Afghan security guards. Protesters became angry and stormed the building.”
The student said some of the protesters found several loaded AK-47s and used them to kill security guards and other people inside the building.
The attack followed a demonstration against the reported burning of a Quran by Florida pastor Terry Jones, who gained international attention last year when he announced that he was planning to burn a Quran, the U.N. source with knowledge of events said.
Jones is the pastor of the 60-member Dove World Outreach Center church near Gainesville. Last year, after an outcry followed his announcement of plans to burn a Quran on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he canceled them. Last month, however, he reportedly did burn Islam’s holy book.
The church says on its website that it planned to put the Quran on trial on March 20, and, “if found guilty of causing murder, rape and terrorism, it will be executed!” Another post on the website, which uses an alternative spelling for the book, says “the Koran was found guilty” during the mock trial and “a copy was burned inside the building.”
On Friday, Jones said in an e-mailed statement that the attack in Afghanistan shows that “the time has come to hold Islam accountable.”
“We must hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities,” he said.
Atta Mohammad Noor, the governor of Balkh province, said the attackers had used the protests against the burning “as a cover for this violence.”
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai called the attacks “an act against Islam and Afghan values.”
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the victims were only trying to help the Afghan people.
“In targeting them, the attackers have demonstrated an appalling disregard for what the U.N. and the entire international community are trying to do for the benefit of all Afghans,” he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama also condemned the attack. “We stress the importance of calm and urge all parties to reject violence and resolve differences through dialogue,” he said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said he would not speculate on the motivation behind the attack, but added that it was “in no way justified, regardless of what the motivation was.”
The Council on American Islamic Relations also released a statement condemning the attack. “Nothing can justify or excuse this attack,” said the group, which describes itself as America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.
Don’t forget, it’s atheists that are destroying the country and corrupting our youths….. *cough*
COLUMBIA, S.C. (CBS/AP) A Spartanburg County woman has been charged with felony animal cruelty, accused of hanging her nephew’s pit bull with an electrical cord and burning its body after the dog chewed on her Bible, authorities said Monday.
When questioned by police and animal control officers, Miriam Smith told them the female dog named “Diamond” was a “devil dog” and she feared it might harm neighborhood children, according to an incident report from the county’s Environmental Enforcement Department.
Smith, 65, was arrested Sunday and remains in the Spartanburg County jail. Bond had not been set.
She faces 180 days to five years in prison if convicted.
Authorities said the 1-year-old dog was kept outside on a chain and chewed the Bible that had been left on Smith’s porch. The dog’s remains were found under a pile of dried, cut grass. Part of the orange cord was still around the dog’s neck and a smell of kerosene still hung in the air, the animal control officer wrote in her report.
The dog was killed about two weeks ago when Smith’s nephew was forced to spend several days away from home because of winter weather in the area, authorities said.
Smith is the first person is Spartanburg County to face a felony charge under South Carolina’s tougher animal cruelty law, said Jaime Nelson, director of the county’s Environmental Enforcement Department.
Smith’s mental state will likely affect what kind of penalties she faces, Nelson added. He said he was stunned by how flat the woman’s emotions sounded as she recounted on tape what happened to the dog.
“She just acted like – what’s done has been done,” Nelson said.
An unhinged actor Thursday calmly described hacking his beloved mother to death with a sword because he believed a demon had taken hold of her soul.
“I didn’t kill her. I killed the demon inside her,” Michael Brea said in a chilling hourlong interview with the Daily News in the prison ward at Bellevue Hospital.
When told his mother, Yannick Brea, 55, had died in the grisly assault early Tuesday, Michael was unrepentant.
“So be it. It was the work of God,” he said.
Speaking with white-hot intensity and unflinching confidence, Brea described a shadowy descent into a world filled with Masonic symbolism and black magic beginning late Sunday when he snapped awake.
“I was sleeping in my bedroom. God came above my bed and reached his arm to me,” said Brea, wearing a light-blue prison jumpsuit and slippers. He told his tale while sitting unhandcuffed on a blue chair behind a wood table.
“I said, ‘God, is my time on earth over?’ I heard a voice say, ‘Yes Michael, today is your last day.’ I asked if I could say goodbye to my family.”
The 31-year-old Brea said he told no one about the dream, but the following afternoon, he said he received another sign while at the Prince Hall Masonic Temple in Harlem, which he’d joined a week earlier.
There, he said, a man approached and tried to put a curse on him.
“[He] kept trying to put something in my hand but wouldn’t show it to me. I kept opening my hand. It was a Freemason pin. I wouldn’t touch it,” Brea said.
Felt like Neo from ‘The Matrix’
He began feeling ill and left, and while riding the train back to Brooklyn, he said, strangers began speaking to him about his mother.
“I felt like Neo from ‘The Matrix.’ I began hearing voices and feeling powerful,” Brea said. “They were asking about the difference between mom and mother. It was a sign.”
When he returned to the family’s Prospect Heights apartment, the bit-part actor who once appeared on “Ugly Betty,” hugged his mother, a God-fearing Haitian immigrant with whom relatives say he had long been very close.
“I knew I would never see my mother again,” he said. “I gave her lots of love.”
He went to his room and lit candles, placed a dagger and a 3-foot ceremonial Freemason sword by his side.
Investigators said he had stolen the sword from the Masonic lodge, but Brea insisted his father had given it to him when he was a child.
“It’s a powerful sword,” he said.
Brea also arranged three saint cards around him – including one of Saint Jude holding a sword.
His mother then knocked on the door and asked him to go to the kitchen and pour water from a pot in which she was cooking three chickens.
It seems that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is under investigation by Pakistani legal authorities for violation of that country’s anti-blasphemy laws surrounding the recent Draw Muhammed contest.
The penalty for violating the Pakistani anti-blasphemy law can be death.
Section 295-C of the Pakistani penal code reads: “Use of derogatory remark etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable for fine.”
The Draw Muhammed Contest was started in response, in part, to Comedy Central’s censoring of an episode of “South Park” that dealt with violent Muslim reaction over the depiction of the Prophet Muhammed in the West. A Danish newspaper and cartoonist have also been under violent threat because of a cartoon depicting Mohammed with an exploding turban.
The idea of the Draw Muhammed Contest was that it would be a response to violent, Islamic extremists to show that freedom of expression in the West applies to everyone and every subject. Muslims do not get to tell non-Muslims what to do and what to say.
It appears that Pakistani law enforcement disagrees with this sentiment. The Pakistanis actually expect Interpol to arrange for the arrest of Mark Zuckerberg and his handing over to the Pakistani authorities for trial and presumed punishment. A complaint to the UN General Assembly is also being contemplated.
The situation seems to derive in large part from cultural insensitivity on the part of Pakistanis and many other Muslims. Muslims may feel somewhat sensitive about depictions of their Prophet, especially unflattering ones. This has been known since the Salman Rushdie affair. On the other hand, Muslims need to realize that the right to express oneself, on any subject, with any point of view, is held as sacred in the West as Islam is considered in their own countries. Religion and the religious are scrutinized, criticized, and ridiculed frequently. This applies to all religions, not just Islam.
The difference is that Christians, Jews, and so on seem to be secure enough in their particular faiths that any assaults on them get relatively mild complaints in response. Not so with Muslims. It seems that many Muslims just want to kill people for disdaining Islam. This not only demonstrates a somewhat shaky religious faith, but also tends to reinforce the image of the Muslims as violent extremists.
Coddling or giving into this attitude, as Comedy Central did, is somewhat counter-productive. Self-censorship only enables violent extremists and ensures that the threats of violence will continue.
Thanks to JT Hundley for the link
For more than a week, Ria Ramkissoon watched passively as her one-year-old son wasted away, denied food and water because the older woman she lived with said it was God’s will.
Javon Thompson was possessed by an evil spirit, Ramkissoon was told, because he didn’t say “Amen” during a mealtime prayer. Javon didn’t talk much, given his age, but he had said “Amen” before, Ramkissoon testified in a US court in Baltimore.
On the day Javon died, Ramkissoon was told to “nurture him back to life”. She mashed up some carrots and tried to feed the boy, but he was no longer able to swallow. Ramkissoon put her hands on his chest to confirm that his heart had stopped beating.
Ramkissoon and several other people knelt down and prayed that he would rise from the dead. For weeks afterward, Ramkissoon spent much of her time in a room with her son’s emaciated body — talking to him, dancing, even giving him water. She thought she could bring him back.
Ramkissoon told the tale of her son’s excruciating death from the witness stand on Wednesday, at the trial of the woman she says told her not to feed the boy. Queen Antoinette was the leader of a small religious cult, according to police and prosecutors, and she faces murder charges alongside her daughter, Trevia Williams, and another follower, Marcus A. Cobbs.
The three are acting as their own attorneys.
Javon died in either December 2006 or January 2007; Ramkissoon isn’t sure of the exact date. His body was hidden in a suitcase for more than a year and has since been buried. But even now, she maintains her faith in his resurrection.
“I still believe that my son is coming back,” Ramkissoon said. “I have no problem saying what really happened because I believe he’s coming back.
“Queen said God told her he would come back. I believe it. I choose to believe it,” she said. “Even now, despite everything, I choose to believe it for my reasons.”
Later, she acknowledged that her faith makes her sound crazy. “I don’t have a problem sounding crazy in court,” she said.
Ramkissoon, 23, was born in Trinidad and moved to Baltimore at age seven. She stands 5 feet (1.52 metres) tall and weighs about 100 pounds (45.4 kilograms).
She wore a white sweater and blue jeans and was calm throughout her testimony, speaking in a clear and even voice. She appeared mildly agitated at certain questions but otherwise showed little emotion, even as she described how her starving son lost weight, became lethargic and lost his voice.
She was led to the courtroom in handcuffs. She pleaded guilty last year to child abuse resulting in death, agreeing to the deal only under the condition that if Javon is resurrected, the plea will be vacated. Prosecutors and a judge accepted that extraordinary condition, specifying that only a “Jesus-like resurrection” would suffice.
Because Antoinette is representing herself, she was able to cross-examine the young woman who lived with her for two years, much of that time after her son’s death.
Antoinette asked whether her statement about not feeding Javon was an order or a “suggestion”.
Ramkissoon said she has consistently told prosecutors and her attorney that she was not forced to starve her son, but she made clear the idea was Antoinette’s.
“When I was about to feed him,” Ramkissoon said to Antoinette, “you said, ‘You shouldn’t feed him anything’, and then you told me why. … I believed you.”
Williams and Cobbs also lived in the home, along with Antoinette’s three other children and a childhood friend of Ramkissoon’s. No one challenged Antoinette’s statement that the boy should not be fed, Ramkissoon said.
Ramkissoon detailed how the group relocated to Philadelphia and brought Javon’s body in a suitcase. She described how Javon was packed with sheets and blankets and how she sprayed his body with disinfectant and stuffed the suitcase with fabric softener sheets to mask the odour.
The suitcase was hidden in a shed in Philadelphia for more than a year before it was discovered by police, according to testimony.
Members of Antoinette’s household were told to wear only white, blue and khaki. They left the home only in pairs, and they avoided doctors or hospitals. They destroyed identification cards and had little contact with their families.
Ramkissoon said she often questioned Antoinette’s rules and orders but never disobeyed her because she believed her to be “a godly woman”.
“Looking back now,” Ramkissoon told Antoinette, “I won’t say that everything you thought was right, was right.”
We’ve all heard of people being stoned to death.. But what does that look like?
Militants from Hizbul Islam haul the bloodied body of Mohamed Ibrahim, 48, from a chest-deep pit after stoning him to death for illicit sexual intercourse with a woman in the Afgoye district, Somalia on December 13, 2009. Ibrahim was sentenced to death by a local Islamic court after he was found guilty of infidelity.
Man Stoned To Death (Warning – Very Graphic)
You can thank religious fuckheads for this one, this guy was killed for sleeping with a woman he wasn’t married to..
Before you blame Islam, keep in mind Christians and Jews have done their share of stonings.
NICHOLS HILLS – The doctor accused of fatally stabbing his son Monday repeatedly said his son had “the devil in him,” police reported today in a court arrest affidavit.
Stephen P. Wolf, 51, tried to stab his son again even after a police officer broke up the assault in the kitchen of the home at 1715 Elmhurst Ave., according to the arrest affidavit.
Wolf is in the Oklahoma County jail. His son, Tommy, was 9.
The doctor has a history of mental issues that included hospital stays for depression. He saw a psychotherapist in the 1980s while in medical school and was under the care of a psychiatrist in 1996, his medical records show.
A neighbor, Douglas Woodson, told police the doctor “was under review at his hospital for anger issues,” police reported in the affidavit. The neighbor also told police the doctor “was supposed to go to a rehab facility for the anger plus drug and alcohol abuse.”
A police officer was sent to the house at 3:52 a.m. Monday after a neighbor called 911.
The police officer then went to the doctor’s house after hearing screaming. The doctor’s wife, Mary Wolf, told the officer, “He’s killing my son. He’s killing my son,” according to the affidavit.
The officer found the blood-covered doctor in the kitchen on his knees “wrestling with something up against a cabinet door and a dishwasher,” according to the affidavit. The officer later determined Wolf had been over his son.
The officer “ordered Mr. Wolf at gun point to stop and put his hands up,” police reported. “At that time, Mr. Wolf raised his hands to about head level and looked back at Officer Michael Puckett and said, ‘He’s got the devil in him and you know it’ several times.”
The victim had a knife lodged in the upper section of his head and a knife stuck in the right part of the chest, police reported.
The police officer ordered the doctor to get on his stomach and the doctor said again several times, “You know he’s got the devil in him,” according to the affidavit.
The victim then began to convulse and “Mr. Wolf leapt up off the floor and said, ‘He’s not dead’ and tried to grab a knife from the body to continue the assault,” police reported.
The officer pulled the doctor away and a knife fell from the doctor’s hand, police reported. The doctor twice more tried to reach for the knife, forcing the officer to hit the doctor until the officer could toss the knife away, police reported.
The doctor was handcuffed when another officer arrived.
SAN ANTONIO – The scene was so gruesome investigators could barely speak: A 3 1/2-week-old boy lay dismembered in the bedroom of a single-story house, three of his tiny toes chewed off, his face torn away, his head severed and his brains ripped out.”At this particular scene you could have heard a pin drop,” San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Monday. “No one was speaking. It was about as somber as it could have been.”
Officers called to the home early Sunday found the boy’s mother, Otty Sanchez, sitting on the couch with a self-inflicted wound to her chest and her throat partially slashed, screaming “I killed my baby! I killed my baby!” police said. She told officers the devil made her do it, police said.
Sanchez, 33, apparently ate the child’s brain and some other body parts before stabbing herself, McManus said.
“It’s too heinous for me to describe it any further,” McManus told reporters.
Sanchez is charged with capital murder in the death of her son, Scott Wesley Buccholtz-Sanchez. She was being treated Monday at a hospital, and was being held on $1 million bail.
‘In and out’ of psychiatric ward
The slaying occurred a week after the child’s father moved out, McManus said. Otty Sanchez’s sister and her sister’s two children, ages 5 and 7, were in the house, but none were harmed.
Police said Sanchez did not have an attorney, and they declined to identify family members.
No one answered the door Monday at Sanchez’s home, where the blinds were shut. A hopscotch pattern and red hearts were drawn on the walk leading up to the house.
Sanchez’s aunt, Gloria Sanchez, said her niece had been “in and out” of a psychiatric ward but did not say where she was treated or why. She said a hospital called several months ago to check up on her.
“Otty didn’t mean to do that. She was not in her right mind,” a sobbing Gloria Sanchez told The Associated Press on Monday by phone. She said her family was devastated.
Investigators are looking into Sanchez’s mental health history to see if there was anything “significant,” and whether postpartum difficulties could have factored into the attack, McManus said.
Postpartum depression — a pattern?
Postpartum depression and psychosis have been cited as contributing factors in several other cases in Texas in recent years in which mothers killed their children.
Andrea Yates drowned her five children in her Houston-area home 2001, saying she believed Satan was inside her and trying to save them from hell. Her attorneys said she had been suffering from severe postpartum psychosis, and a jury found Yates not guilty by reason of insanity in 2006.
In 2004, Dena Schlosser killed her 10-month-old in her Plano home by slicing off the baby’s arms. She was found not guilty of reason by insanity, after testifying that she killed the baby because she wanted to give her to God.
Sanchez’s neighbors expressed sorrow and horror Monday at the grisly killing.
Neighbor Luis Yanez, 23, said his kids went to school with one of the small children who lived at the house. He said he often saw a woman playing outside with the children but didn’t know whether it was Otty.
“Why would you do that to your baby?” said Yanez, a tire technician. “It brings chills to you. They can’t defend themselves.”
Allen Taylor, another neighbor, said “once she gets back in her right mind, she’s going to be devastated.”
A seven-year-old girl allegedly starved to death by her mother and mother’s partner was made to sit in a cold bath as a punishment, a court has been told.
In video evidence shown at Birmingham Crown Court, a 12-year-old girl said that she herself had been made to stand in front of a fan in her underwear.
Junaid Abuhamza, 30, and Angela Gordon, 34, both of Leyton Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, deny murdering Khyra Ishaq.
The prosecution said Khyra was starved to death and kept prisoner.
The court heard the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also in the care of the defendants.
She told a policewoman that children at the house would miss out on food if they were naughty.
She also said that she was struck with a stick and made to stand in front of a fan wearing boxer shorts and a vest.
She added that she and others would also be made to stand outside the house.
The court has heard that Khyra lost up to 40% of her bodyweight and resembled a “concentration camp” victim when she was found.
Earlier this week, the jury was told that Mr Abuhamza and Ms Gordon told children at the house they believed Khyra had been possessed by an evil spirit.
Mr Abuhamza pleaded guilty last week to five cruelty charges relating to other children.
Ms Gordon denies five child cruelty offences, which were allegedly committed between December 2007 and May 2008.
The case has been adjourned until Monday.
WICHITA, Kan. – The family of slain abortion provider George Tiller said Tuesday that his Wichita clinic will be “permanently closed,” effective immediately.
In a statement released by Tiller’s attorneys, his family said it is ceasing operation of Women’s Health Care Services Inc. and any involvement by family members in any other similar clinic.
“We are proud of the service and courage shown by our husband and father and know that women’s health care needs have been met because of his dedication and service,” the family said.
Tiller was shot to death May 31 while serving as an usher at the Lutheran church in Wichita that he regularly attended. Scott Roeder is being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in Tiller’s death.
Tiller’s family said it will honor his memory through private charitable activities.
Family members said they wanted to assure Tiller’s previous patients that the privacy of their medical histories and patient records will remain “as fiercely protected now and in the future” as they were during Tiller’s lifetime.