Suicide bomber kills 16 in Pakistan

2015-10-23 20:17
Pakistani Shi’ite Muslims offer prayers during a Muharram rally ahead of Ashoura day in Karachi. (Shakil Adil, AP)

Pakistani Shi’ite Muslims offer prayers during a Muharram rally ahead of Ashoura day in Karachi. (Shakil Adil, AP)

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Islamabad - Pakistani police said on Friday that a suicide bomber killed 16 people at a procession in Sindh province for the Shi'ite Muslim holiday of Ashura.

The blast, which also wounded dozens, was the second in two days to hit the festivities surrounding Ashura.

No one immediately took responsibility for Friday's bombing, but a Sunni Muslim militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, had claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack and threatened more violence against Shi'ites.

Fears of sectarian violence have been heightened this year since Taliban splinter groups pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim militant group based in Syria and Iraq that has repeatedly attacked Shi'ites.

Analysts say Pakistani groups hoping for patronage want to impress the Islamic State.

Local police official Muhammad Saeed said that 16 people including two children had been killed in the early evening blast in Jacobabad district, about 450km north of the city of Karachi.

Security has been beefed up across Pakistan for the two days of Ashura. Shi'ites were holding public gatherings and marches in most major cities on Friday and Saturday to commemorate the death of Hussain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.



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