Of all the places in the world, Jamaica would be the least likely choice on anyone’s list to have civil unrest. Yet, the announcement made by Prime Minister Bruce Golding earlier this week has led to just that.
Golding’s announcement that he would support the extradition of drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke, has turned the capital city of Kingston into a warzone. Supporters of the drug lord are running amok, refusing to let the authorities anywhere near him. Already one police station has been set on fire and another two have been fired upon. Barricades have also been put up by the supporters and they have vowed to protect Coke at any cost.
As a result, parts of Kingston city have been placed under a state of emergency. This has allowed police and troops to move in and conduct searches without a warrant. The restriction of movement in those areas has also helped authorities bring some semblance of control to the once peaceful city.
There are two main reasons for this revolt to take place. One is that, Coke is seen by many residents as being a benefactor; he is often known to donate money to families to help their children. The other is the about face of Golding this week. For nine months now, Golding has resisted all moves to extradite Coke out of the country. But with public discontent and accusation of connections with the drug lord growing, the Prime Minister made a U-turn and decided to give up on Coke. He has since apologized to the public and admitted that he could have handled the issue better.
Police are yet to penetrate the barriers around Coke’s area and make the arrest.
The death toll stood at 12 after a roadside bomb exploded in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday. The bomb was believed to have targeted a police patrol. A senior police officer, his guard and his driver were among the dead. Two schoolchildren were also among the eight civilians who died in the blast. The death toll could rise as fifteen people were wounded as well.
The bomb exploded in an area known as Dera Ismail Khan. This is a region that thousands of people have fled to in recent months, in the face of the ground that offensive the government launched against the Taliban. The offensive, one of the biggest in recent years, launched in mid-October targeting a Taliban’s stronghold located in the South Waziristan region.
Along with the civilians, many terrorists have also made the long trek to Dera Ismail Khan and set up camp there.
The terrorists have been making sporadic attacks in many areas of the northwest and the military has been trying to counter them as best as possible. An operation in mid-March is estimated to have killed hundreds or terrorists. However, that has not stopped the attacks from continuing. The military seems to be reluctant to do a big push in the North Waziristan region for some reason. The U.S. has been pressuring Pakistan to take control of the area. North Waziristan is in close proximity to Afghanistan and is used by Al-Qaida as well the Taliban as a base to instigate strikes on U.S. and Nato troops.
Thousands of people were spared their lives due to the alertness of two individuals on Saturday. Rallis Gialaboukis and Duane Jackson, both street vendors, noticed a suspicious looking Pathfinder parked in Times Square.
The duo alerted a mounted police officer moments before the detonation process started on the bomb. The bomb was constructed of fireworks, 10 gallons of gasoline in two containers and three propane tanks. The detonator was crudely constructed using two battery operated clocks, wires and other parts. Fortunately for everyone the deadly device failed to explode properly and it appears that only the fireworks ignited.
The streets were cleared for over 10 hours as police worked to disarm the bomb. A police robot was used to remove the dangerous components. No one has been arrested so far in connection with the incident. The Connecticut license plates on the vehicle didn’t lead to any arrests either, as they didn’t match up. When questioned by the police, the owner of the car said that he had sent the plates to a junkyard.
The incident is being treated like a terrorist attack, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. However, no motive has been identified so far nor has any organization or individual come forward to claim responsibility. The components used appear to point the finger at Islamic terrorists, as they have been known to use propane and other compressed gasses to boost the power of bombs. So far, forensic tests on the vehicle have yielded a few fingerprints but police are not revealing anything further yet.
It takes a special kind of deranged madness to kill children. A 48 year old man went on a brutal killing spree, as he hacked to death seven children and two adults in a kindergarten. The man was the owner of the house where the kindergarten was located. He eventually killed himself after the attack.
What is more disturbing about this incident is that it is the sixth such attack in eight weeks. On March 23rd, Zheng Minsheng knifed 8 students to death and wounded five other people before being captured. The 42 year old, who was a physician by profession, went on the killing spree after he was “spurned by a woman”. Zheng was executed after a speedy trial on April 28th.
On the very same day at a school in the Guangdong province, 15 students as well as a teacher were stabbed by a 33 year old man. The assailant, Chen Kangbing, was a teacher from another school. He was put on disability leave stemming from mental health issues in 2006. Several similar attacks have followed the Guangdong incident, ending with Wednesday’s brutal kindergarten killings.
There appears to be no real connection between the incidents. The only similarities are that the attackers are middle aged men, of which three have been known to have mental health problems. Behavioral experts have put forward the theory that the attacks could be copycats caused by the sensationalist reporting by the media. However the most pressing issue uncovered by the killings is that there is a lack of access to mental care in China.