Suicide blast claims 23 lives in Pakistan. By Sheraz Khurram Khan
10 Feb 2006
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Pakistan Christian Post): At least 23 people were killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack and in subsequent violence at a religious procession in north-west Pakistan on Thursday, reports the AP.
The explosion ripped through a crowd of Shia Muslim, who had reached in a bazaar from the Shia mosque in the town of Hangu.
A fiery response of the attacked resulted in torching of shops and cars, prompting dispatch of troops to the town to maintain curfew. "We thought the bomb was detonated by remote control, but now it appears to be a suicide attack," local police chief Ayub Khan told the Associated Press news agency. The explosion reportedly occurred when Maulana Khurshid Anwar, a leader of the Shia procession was about to address the procession.
Amid reports of gunfire and possible causalities following the blast the number of people killed had not been ascertained at the time of filling of this report.
About 3,000 Shias protested on the streets of Karachi over the killings. Meanwhile, five people were killed and 27 hurt in clashes at a Shia procession for Ashura in Heart, Afghanistan.
Ashura marks the death of the Prophet Muhammad`s grandson Imam Hussein, an event that led to the split between Shia and Sunni Muslims.
The attack on the mourning procession in Quetta claimed at least 43 lives, besides causing a much higher number of injuries last year.
Ashura processions were taken out in all cities and towns across the country that after passing through their traditional routes, terminated at the main imambargahs (Shia mosques) on Thursday.
Shia men and women dressed in black paraded through the streets in different cities of the countries, slapping their chests and chanting. "Ya Hussain Ya Hussain"
Emulating the suffering of Hussein, some Shia men flagellated themselves with chains and knives until blood streamed from their bodies.