Bomb kills 2 at Shiite mosque in Pakistan's largest city

AP News
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Posted: Mar 20, 2015 12:33 PM

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A bomb planted on a motorcycle outside a Shiite mosque in Pakistan's largest city on Friday killed two people and wounded six, police said, in the latest attack on a religious site in the country.

The bomb was set with a timer and the motorcycle parked near the main gate of the mosque of the minority Shiite Bohra community in the southern port city of Karachi, senior police officer Raja Umar Khitab said.

The bomb exploded as midday prayers ended, minimizing casualties as most of the worshippers were still inside the mosque. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Witness Mansoor Saifud Din said worshippers were leaving the mosque when they were knocked down by the blast.

"I was behind the people reaching the outer gate of the mosque when the bomb exploded and I saw people falling to the ground and rushing back," he said.

The explosion comes one week after a pair of Taliban suicide bombers attacked two churches in the eastern city of Lahore, killing 15 people. In January, 60 people were killed in a suicide bombing carried out by a Taliban splinter group at a Shiite mosque in southern Sindh province.

In a separate incident in Karachi late Friday, a suicide attacker rammed his motorcycle into a paramilitary ranger patrol vehicle, said senior police officer Faisal Noor.

Two paramilitary troops were killed and three injured; a man and a woman driving past on a motorcycle were also wounded, he said.

Also Friday, gunmen ambushed a convoy of government officials in southwestern Baluchistan province, killing two police officers and injuring five others, said Nauroz Khan, a senior police officer in the area.

Deputy commissioner Abdur Raziq, who was the apparent target, was not hurt, Khan said. But police officers escorting his vehicle were gunned down by automatic weapons fire.

Baluchistan is home to a low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists and separatist groups demanding autonomy and revenue from the province's mineral and gas wealth. Islamic militants also operate in the area.

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Associated Press writer Abdul Sattar in Quetta, Pakistan contributed to this report.