Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Inquirer Recalls City Under Fire

Philadelphia Inquirer chronicles violent thirty minutes.

Even by Philadelphia standards, three people shot to death and five others wounded by gunfire within about half an hour is a particularly violent stretch.

Four unrelated incidents left a bloody trail across the city, stretching from the Southwest to the Northeast, between 11:19 and 11:52 p.m. Monday.

With the slaying toll at 201 by sunrise yesterday, this year's homicide rate is at least 3.65 percent higher than it was at the same time last year - and last year's rate was the highest since 1997, when more than 400 people were killed.

"It has to stop," captain Benjamin Naish said. "We continue to place resources where the shootings are happening, but we need people to take more responsibility."

Raj Denounces Terrorist Bombing

Raj Peter Bhakta, candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 13th District, issued a strong denunciation of the train bombings carried out in Bombay Tuesday evening.

"Our war on terror and India's war on terror are one in the same," said Raj. "Our peaceful and democratic ally has endured the terrorism of radical Islamists for too long. I am deeply proud of the friendship our two nations have recently developed."

Raj said he was profoundly troubled, as an Indian-American and as someone whose grandmother and other family members live in India, by the violence that has distressed the region for so many years.

"This has been a dark day for freedom loving nations around the world," Raj said. "India is where my father came from. It will always be a big part of who I am."

The rapid occurrence of multiple bombings has been a common characteristic of attacks in India by Islamic militants from the disputed Kashmir region. "A strong India is necessary for world peace," said Raj. "With material aid and moral support, this growing capitalist democracy can become a major bulwark in the war against terrorism."