MULTAN (Pakistan) – UP TO 30 people were killed Thursday when a suspected suicide bombing ripped through a crowd of Shi’ite worshippers outside a Pakistani mosque in the latest sectarian attack to rock the country.
Police said the blast targeted dozens of people converging on the Al-Hussainia mosque after dark in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan, in the central Punjab province, shortly before a religious gathering.
‘The death toll is now 30,’ a senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity. ‘It is increasingly clear that it was a suicide attack.’
His toll would make it the deadliest bombing in Pakistan since a suicide attack struck a meeting of anti-Taleban tribal leaders in the northwest border areas near Afghanistan and killed at least 40 people last Oct 10.
Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s blast, police were swift to blame sectarian extremists following a wave of similar violence in Pakistan, an overwhelmingly majority Sunni Muslim country.
‘Ninety-nine per cent it looks like a suicide attack,’ Shaukat Javed, the highest ranking police commander in Punjab province, told AFP.
That’s how civil wars start.Almost two years ago a bomb blast at the Shiite Great Golden Mosque of Samarrah by Sunni Muslims sparked the beginnings of the civil war in Iraq that led to an explosion of violence and almost caused Iraq to collapse.
BAGHDAD, Feb. 22 — Bombers blasted the gilded dome of one of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines into naked steel and gaping blue sky Wednesday in a provocative assault that roused tens of thousands of Iraqi Shiites into angry protests and deadly clashes.
The Shiites retaliated by attacking dozens of mosques in reprisal.It was suspected that Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Mahdi army was behind the attacks to cause chaos and turmoil in the Shiite community which was thought to be favorable to the Americans.The Prime Minister of Iraq,Nouri al-Maliki is Shia and once led guerrilla opposition against Saddam Hussein.
Let’s hope they can keep their cool over there.
The town of Dera Ghazi Khan, in the central Punjab province is very close to the border with India and has a history of sectarian violence.
On Nov.26th 2008 The Indian city of Mumbai was rocked by a coordinated attack of Pakistani militants which killed 173 people.