Thursday, February 22, 2024

27 dead as bomb rips Pak funeral procession

Twenty-seven people were killed on Friday in a suicide bombing at a funeral procession for an assassinated local Shia Muslim leader in northwest Pakistan, officials said.
Ashiq Salim, a doctor at the main hospital in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, said 27 bodies had been brought there and that medics were scrambling to treat another 60 people who were wounded. “A curfew has been imposed in the city,” district administration chief Syed Mohsin Shah said.
The explosion targeted the 1000 people-strong funeral procession of cleric Sher Zaman, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Thursday. Several of the injured were in a critical condition and an emergency was declared in the hospitals of the city that has a history of sectarian violence. Witnesses said the procession was targeted by a suicide bomber. Officials said it was believed that the attack was the outcome of sectarian rivalries. Shortly after the attack, the people who were part of the funeral procession went on rampage, damaging a police check post and pelting stones at cars on the roads. They also targeted government offices and security forces. The attack caused panic and confusion in Dera Ismail Khan and shops and markets closed down soon after the blast. There were also reports of people opening fire in several places in the city. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Relations between Pakistan’s strong Sunni majority and Shia minority are under growing strain from a series of attacks attributed to sectarian extremists.

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