Bomb attack on Shia march in Pakistani city of Karachi


At least 20 people have been killed and dozens injured in a suicide bomb attack on a Shia Muslim march in the Pakistani city of Karachi, officials say.
There are reports of violence across the city as irate marchers turned their anger on security forces and ambulance workers in the aftermath of the blast.
Hundreds of people had been part of the procession at the time of the blast.
Pakistan’s security forces have been on high alert as Muslims have been marking the holy day of Ashura.
On Sunday eight people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a Shia march in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Television footage showed a large plume of smoke over the site of the blast in Karachi and ambulances rushing to and from the scene.

Stringent security
The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool says an incident like this had been feared by the authorities. Stringent security measures had been put in place across the country over the last month.
These processions have been occurring in cities around Pakistan as Muslims mark the holy month of Moharram or Ashura – and there have been numerous attacks on them over the last few days, our correspondent says.
Today was the climax of the holy period, which commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson.
Hundreds of civilians have been killed in bomb attacks in recent months as Pakistan’s army pursues an offensive against Taliban militants in South Waziristan and surrounding areas.
Pakistan also has a long history of violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

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