Death toll from Pakistan blast targeting Shiites reaches 24

Death toll from suicide bombing aimed at Shiites in Pakistan rises to 24, provincial minister says

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People stand at the site of a suicide bombing in Jacobabad, Sindh province, Pakistan on October 23, 2015

Jam Mehtab Dahar, the provincial minister for health in the southern Pakistani province of Sindh, announced on Saturday that the death toll from a suicide blast which targeted Shiites in the southern Pakistani city of Jacobabad has reached 24.

Dahar said more wounded people had succumbed to their injuries.

"The death toll has risen to 24 now," Dahar told Agence France Presse, adding that two of at least 20 wounded were still in a critical condition.

Regional Police Chief Sain Rakhio Mirani said that at least six of the victims were children. Mirani also confirmed that "initial evidence" showed a suicide bomber was responsible for the blast.

Officials had earlier confirmed that 16 people were killed and dozens more wounded on Friday in the attack outside the residence of a local Shiite leader, which came as Shiites gathered to celebrate the holy month of Muharram.

In recent days, authorities have been on high alert in Pakistan due to sectarian violence in the holy month of Muharram as clashes are anticipated to increase between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the region. Officials said that they would show no tolerance for sectarian hate speech and incitement.

More than 10,000 troops and 6,000 paramilitary members has been deployed to guard Shiite processions during the days of Ashura, which has been a flashpoint in previous years.

People who sustained injuries in a series of blasts are surrounded by their relatives at a hospital in Dhaka on October 24, 2015 (Reuters)

Sectarian violence continues to grow in other countries as well in the holy month of Muharram, as people were gather to mourn the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

At least one person was killed and 80 others were wounded early on Saturday in bomb attacks on the main Shiite shrine in the old part of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. The attacks took place as 25,000 people gathered at Hossaini Dalan, an important 17th century center of learning for the Shiite community.

The Shiites make up roughly 20 percent of Pakistan’s 200 million people.

The month of Muharram is equally important to Sunni Muslims as well, however, public mourning of his death is not practiced amongst the Sunnis.

TRTWorld and agencies