NEWS

Pakistan bomb kills more than a dozen

01/15/2012 12:27 EST | Updated 03/16/2012 05:12 EDT

More than a dozen people have been killed and some 20 injured after a bomb attack on a religious procession in the Pakistani city of Khanpur.

Reports say between 13 and 18 people died in the central city as hundreds of Shia gathered to mark the 40th day of mourning of the death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Imam Hussain, a highly revered figure from the 7th century.

District Police Chief Sohail Chatta said the blast went off just as a procession of people headed out of a mosque. No one has claimed responsibility yet for the explosion.

In the past, the Taliban or Sunni extremist groups have claimed responsibility for such attacks. Thousands of Pakistani troops and civilians have been killed in the past five years as militant Islamic groups seek to de-stabilize the government.

In fact, only last month the country’s interior minister thanked the Taliban for refraining from staging attacks on Shias during December.

Officials said security had been provided for the procession but somehow that had been breached. Sohail said the remote-controlled bomb was put near an electric pole.

Shortly after the explosion, people from the procession attacked police, upset that the security had not been adequate.

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