Mar 5, 2009

Pashtun poet Rehman Baba’s mausoleum bombed

Suspected militants blew up on Thursday the mausoleum of a 17th century poet revered in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, apparently because women visited the shrine.
The ethnic Pashtun poet, Abdul Rehman, is commonly known as Rehman Baba, and is loved by Pashtuns for his mystical verse.
People regularly go to his white, marble mausoleum on the outskirts of Peshawar to pay their respects but no one was hurt in the pre-dawn blast.
'The structure of the shrine has been badly damaged but there were no casualties,' said police officer Zar Noor.
Militants had warned people to stop women visiting the shrine, a resident told DawnNews television.
Militants have been stepping up attacks in Pakistan in recent years, especially in the Pashtun-dominated northwest.
As well as battling the security forces, the militants in many areas have tried to stamp out what they see as inappropriate practices such as music and dancing.
The Taliban also consider paying homage at graves to be heretical.

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