13 injured in Eid bombings in Pakistan
At least 13 people, including five policemen, were on Tuesday injured in two suicide bombings during Eid prayers, targeting minority Shias, in Pakistan’s relatively peaceful southern Sindh province.
Four suicide attackers infiltrated Shikarpur district’s Khanpur tehsil, 470 km north of Karachi, police said. Two of the attackers targeted an Eid prayer ground, where one assailant blew himself up, injuring 10 people, two of whom were policemen. The other attacker fled, they said.
Two other suicide bombers targeted a Shia mosque, but they were stopped at the entrance by policemen, after which one of the attackers blew himself up while the other was arrested. Three policemen were injured in the attack. The condition of one of them was critical.
Last year, at least 61 people were killed in a suicide attack on a mosque in the district. “Alert” policemen at the venues prevented huge casualties, police officer Beherdin Kehrio said.
“If the policemen had not prevented the suicide bombers from entering the prayer venues there
would have been large-scale casualties because of the large gathering due to Eid prayers,” he said.
He added that the attackers at the Shia mosque were stopped by policemen as they looked suspicious and when confronted one of them detonated himself.
“The other attacker was brought down and arrested,” he added. Those injured in the blast have been admitted to hospitals in Shikarpur for treatment.
No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Pakistan has been frequently hit by sectarian violence in recent years, most of them perpetrated by hardline Sunni Muslim groups against minority Shia Muslims.
However, Sindh is considered a relatively peaceful of Pakistan’s four provinces and is highly influenced by Sufi doctrines and principles.