Deadly blast hits Imama Hussain mourners in Pakistan, kills 10 Shias

Deadly blast hits Imama Hussain mourners in Pakistan, kills 10 Shias
(Friday, October 23, 2015) 12:56

At least 10 minority Shia Muslims were killed and 12 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shia mosque.

A suicide bombing at a Shia Muslim mosque has killed at least 10 people in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

Six children were among the dead and more than 12 people were wounded in the attack in the town of Bhaag, said the provincial home minister, Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti,.

No claim of responsibility was made following the attack. Baluchistan, in eastern Pakistan, has been wracked by separatist violence and rising sectarianism for almost a decade.

Security has been beefed up across Pakistan before the two-day Shia festival of Ashura. Public gatherings and marches are planned in most Pakistani cities on Friday and Saturday to commemorate the death of Hussain, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad.

Mobile phone services will be suspended in cities in an attempt to foil remote-controlled bombings. Police have set up extra checkpoints and imposed restrictions on movement in some areas.

Fears of violence have been heightened this year after Taliban splinter groups pledged allegiance to the Syria- and Iraq-based Islamic State, which has repeatedly targeted Shias. Analysts say Pakistani groups hoping for patronage want to impress Islamic State

Shia Muslims make up about 20% of the Pakistani population. The rest are mostly Sunni Muslims.

In a separate development, the Pakistani military said on Thursday that it had carried out its first night-time drone strike, killing several militants.

“Our own drone Burraq fired missiles and hit sanctuaries of terrorists in South Waziristan near the Afghan border on Thursday,” said a security official.

Pakistan launched the Burraq in March, and the first strike by one of the drones was reported in early September.

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