Talibanization in NWFP Continues to Grow

Militants blow up 63 shops in Swat
By Saleem Athar: Daily Times, September 7, 2007

MINGORA: Suspected militants on Friday blew up 63 CD and shoe shops in the Mina Bazaar and Ali Plaza and partially damaged 21 nearby shops, but there were no casualties, witnesses said.

In Ali Plaza, the explosion destroyed 19 shops selling shoes and a mobile repairing shop in the basement, while 27 CD shops and a mobile repairing shop were destroyed in the first floor of the plaza.

In Mina Bazaar, the blast destroyed 15 CD shops and partially damaged nine nearby shops. Around 12 mobile repairing shops were partially damaged in Qadria Market. Offices of Daily Times, Aaj TV and Online news agency were also partially damaged due to the Mina Bazaar blasts, which also broke the windowpanes of Lalazaar Hotel, Bolan Hotel and Anwar Hotel.

A few days ago, unidentified people had threatened the owners of these video and CDs shops through letters, warning them to close their “un-Islamic” business or face bomb attacks. The owners of the video centres had started negotiating with the local administration to find alternative businesses. However, the militants bombed the CD shops after the deadline expired.

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