bombs

Bombs Explode Zanzibar Calm as Religious Tensions Flare

View of Stone Town, Zanzibar, with the Zanzibar flag in the foreground. Photo courtesy Fanny Schertzer, via WikimediaCommons/RNS

After months of calm in Zanzibar, two homemade bombs exploded Monday near St. Monica Anglican Cathedral and the Mercury restaurant, a popular hangout for tourists visiting the Indian Ocean archipelago.

No one was hurt, but one day earlier, four people were injured in another explosion, targeting an Assemblies of God church.

The attacks are blamed on the secessionist Uamsho, a religious group pressing for the full autonomy of the archipelago.  Uamsho, which means “awakening” in Swahili, is also known as the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation.

Death by the Numbers

The Predator and Reaper drones in most common use by the CIA and U.S. military carry 500-pound GPS-guided bombs or Hellfire missiles. The bombs can destroy whole neighborhoods, while Hellfire missiles are designed to explode afterhitting their target, spewing shrapnel and “incendiary pellets” to “ensure target destruction.”

Arms Merchant to the World

The United States has surpassed all records in global arms sales — a whopping $66.3 billion in armaments sold last year.

Most of the weapons went to Persian Gulf nations, although India also bought more than $4 billion in military equipment. U.S. arms sales in 2011 were triple the previous year’s level and the highest annual total ever recorded.

The U.S. is once again the world’s number-one arms proliferator, accounting for 75 percent of global arms sales. Word of this dubious distinction comes as our leaders claim to support and have been working at the United Nations to negotiate a global Arms Trade Treaty.

The report makes a mockery of the UN negotiations and our government’s presumed commitment to control the arms trade.

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