Muharram holidays marred by blasts in Pakistan

10:03, December 30, 2009      

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by Hamid Hussain

The holidays for Muharram mourning in the Islamic holy month ended Monday in Pakistan, marred by a suicide bomb blast in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, two bomb blasts and one suicide attack in the south port city of Karachi.

Muharram rituals were almost peacefully observed in other parts of the country because of the tight security arrangements but the suicide bombing that ripped through an Imamabargah (Shiite mosque)on Sunday in Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, left 11 people dead and dozens injured.

Two other bomb blasts and a suicide attack on the Shiite Muslims procession in Pakistan's financial capital Karachi killed 43 people and 90 others were injured on Monday night and the blasts sparked riots in Karachi.

The infuriated mourners pelted stones at vehicles and torched cars and shops. More than 2,500 shops gutted in the arson incidents and the fire could not be controlled 18 hours after the incident.

Chief Minister of Sindh Province Syed Qaim Ali Shah has declared Tuesday a province-wide public holiday. All government and private offices are closed.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik has directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe the arson incidents. "I appeal to the people of Karachi to stay peaceful," Rehman Malik told reporters after attending the funeral prayer of the paramilitary soldier killed in the blast.

People in the capital of Islamabad also showed deep resentment over the brutal killings of innocent people in the suicide attack.

While talking to Xinhua, people said that they are deeply shocked with the incident and condemned the riots because Pakistanis already fighting a war against terrorism and could not bear the sectarian riots.

Source: Xinhua
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