Monday, February 26, 2007

At least 10 people, a number of them children, have been killed during a kite-flying festival in the Pakistani province of Punjab

BBC News:

Stray bullets and sharp twine were among the causes of the deaths during the annual Basant festival.

The Pakistan Supreme Court banned kite-flying in 2005 after nine people were killed during festivities in 2004.

But the ban was lifted for 15 days in 2007 after the Punjab government promised to take preventive measures.

More than 700 people were arrested over the past two days for using illegal weapons and sharpened twine during the festival, police officials in Lahore told the Associated Press news agency.

While the Supreme Court had lifted the ban between 24 February and 10 March, the Punjab government only allowed the festival to be celebrated on 24 and 25 February.

Lahore Mayor Mian Aamer Mahmoud told AP that permission ended on Sunday and the ban would then be reapplied.

Despite this, there were numerous incidents in which people were killed or injured during the two-day long celebrations.

Dozens of people had been hurt in addition to at least 10 people killed, Lahore's police chief Malik Iqbal told the BBC.

Fatalities included an 11-year-old boy, who had his throat slashed by sharpened twine, Pakistan's leading English newspaper, Dawn reported.

A 16-year-old girl also suffered a similar fate, AP reported.

The youngest victim was a six-year-old boy who was struck in the head by celebratory gunfire outside his home in Lahore, the Dawn newspaper said.

Celebratory firing and use of sharpened twine had been strictly prohibited by the Supreme court in its conditional repeal of the ban on the festival.

They remained the principal cause of the deaths and injuries, which were also caused by electrocution and falls.

Police chief Iqbal said deaths caused by gunshots would be treated as murder.

Basant, which means saffron, is usually celebrated on rooftops and the fierce competition has led to the use of twine with metal and glass to have the extra edge.

The festival, an annual low-key tradition to herald the approach of spring in the Punjab, has become a high-profile money spinner involving celebrities, corporate sponsorships and much media attention.

11 Dead At Pakistani Kite Festival


At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it with muslims? These fucking guys can't even have a kickball game without somebody getting their throat slashed or being shot due to "celebratory gunbfire." Unbelievable, what a bunch of savages and lunatics.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

Say no to third world immigration and keep these backward losers in South Asia where they belong!


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