Pak blast: Toll rises to 43 as Karachi observes shutdown

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 18:30

Karachi: Thousands of mourners today
attended funeral prayers for 43 people who died in a suicide
attack on a Muharram procession of Pakistani Shia Muslims in
Karachi, where residents observed a shutdown to show
solidarity with the victims.

Provincial Health Secretary Hashim Raza Zaidi said 43
people had died so far in yesterday`s attack, the third
terrorist assault in as many days on a Shia procession in
Karachi, which sparked widespread rioting and violence across
the city of 14 million.

Other officials said over 100 injured were being treated
in hospitals and many of them were in a serious condition.

Amid tight security, thousands of mourners gathered at
various places in the city for funeral prayers for the
victims.

The suicide bomber mingled with hundreds of people
participating in a procession for the Islamic holy month of
Muharram and detonated his explosives on M A Jinnah Road, a
key thoroughfare in the heart of Karachi, yesterday.

Mobs went on the rampage, torching cars and shops, firing
in the air and beating up police and paramilitary personnel.
Over 1,500 shops on M A Jinnah Road and in Boulton Market
were set ablaze.

Fire fighters struggled till this afternoon to control
the blaze as plumes of thick black smoke rose over the city.

Authorities deployed over 40 fire tenders to control the
flames.

PTI




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