Police officials inspect the site of a bomb explosion on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on November 24, 2012.—AFP Photo

PESHAWAR: A bomb blast killed eight people Saturday near a Muharram procession in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Dera Ismail Khan district despite a security crackdown, the latest attack on Shias during the holy month.

Four boys were among the dead and 30 other people were injured when the remote-controlled bomb packed with ball bearings exploded on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan, police said.

Police said a 10-kilogramme bomb was hidden in a dustbin on the procession route and its powerful blast could be heard several kilometres away.

According to a Dawn.com correspondent, a bomb-disposal squad personnel confirmed that eight to ten kilograms of explosive material was used in the blast.

Seven people, including the four children, died soon after the blast and a man died later Saturday from his wounds in hospital, hospital officials told AFP.

“Two are still in critical condition,” said doctor Azhar Ali, deputy chief of Nishtar Hospital in the central city of Multan.

Akhtar Nawaz, another official at the state-run district headquarters hospital said three children were dead on arrival.

City police chief Khalid Suhail said the dead children were aged between six and 11 years. “They were young boys,” he said, adding that two of them were brothers.

Political leaders, including President Asif Ali Zardari, have condemned the blast.

Taliban claim responsibility

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast on Saturday.

“We carried out the attack against the Shia community,” Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location after the explosion on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan.

He said the Taliban had dispatched more than 20 suicide bombers across the country for attacks against the minority community.

“We have 20-25 fidayeen (suicide bombers) in the country to launch bomb blasts and suicide attacks,” Ehsan said.

“The government can make whatever security arrangements it wants but it cannot stop our attacks.”

Saturday’s blast follows a suicide attack that killed 23 people at a Shia procession in the garrison city of Rawalpindi Thursday, Pakistan’s deadliest bombing for five months. It was also claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

Heightened security

Authorities have ordered heightened security, with services for mobile phones – which are often used to trigger bombs – suspended in major cities.

Mobile and wireless phone services were temporarily blocked in the commercial capital Karachi, the southwestern city of Quetta and several cities and towns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces as well as in parts of the capital Islamabad.

It is the second time Pakistan has shut down mobile networks during Muharram.

Dera Ismail Khan lies near Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt, where Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants are said to have carved out strongholds.

It also borders the insurgency-hit southwestern province of Balochistan and populous Punjab province.

Intelligence information indicates more attacks have been planned for the coming days in the capital city of Islamabad, Karachi and Quetta.

In Karachi, more than 5,000 police are expected to patrol the streets during Muharram events over the next two days, with hundreds more on alert.

Updated Nov 24, 2012 02:40pm

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Comments (33) (Closed)


HAZARA TIGERS
Nov 24, 2012 07:40am
It is not a failed state, it is some thing more than this.
life is precious
Nov 24, 2012 01:07pm
peshawar govt needs to answer what security measures they took and where they really failed
Nasir
Nov 24, 2012 12:11pm
Taliban spokesman Ehsan keeps on issuing statements - why can't government target him ? Ask Americans to track him down
AHA
Nov 25, 2012 01:25pm
So true.
Pakiza
Nov 25, 2012 02:27am
Taliban are cowards! they behind a mask and only run their rules on the weak. Jihad is a fight for Allah, Taliban fight against the religion of Allah. They can only hide and use coward means by paying and coherseing the weak and uneducated. We are muslims be we sunni's or shia's, Taliban are the army of shitan, they are not muslims.
Saeed
Nov 24, 2012 07:03am
How many more terrorists would be released from detention before some of these criminals would face justice?
RS
Nov 24, 2012 09:08am
Isn't that exactly the objectives of terrorists?
Papa
Nov 24, 2012 08:06am
Another sorry state and sad story. Police busy with the paper work and may be this is the only work they can do.
Lyra
Nov 24, 2012 07:07am
Pakistan is a failed nation. Despite obvious threats of bomb blasts, they aren't being avoided. What is govt doing?
Duray Abbas Malik
Nov 24, 2012 08:12am
We are failed because we are not seriously eliminating the source of terrorists and in future situation will be further deteriorated. Govt or all our security agencies are chasing the products but not dismantling the infrastructure or closing the terrorist factories. Where we are heading?
Ayesha
Nov 24, 2012 08:18am
Excellent solution abdullah. Do not stop terrorists, advocate their cause, penalize the victims and terrorism will end!!!
john
Nov 24, 2012 08:23am
A Country born out of Inability to live with others, have no hope it will live among its own,,,,, sad but true,,,Apocalypto for you guys has begun.
AHA
Nov 25, 2012 01:24pm
Why do people have to suffer so much because of religion.
V. C. Bhutani
Nov 24, 2012 01:40pm
This is unfortunate. I wish Pakistanis would live like brothers, ignoring each other's religion. What can we hope to achieve by killing innocent processionists and children? V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 24 Nov 2012, 1909 IST
Abdullah
Nov 24, 2012 07:55am
When will the government stop allowing these processions ? After thousands more are killed ?
Ashfaq
Nov 24, 2012 10:05am
we was the one who produce Taliban so now we have to pay the price for that....
Abdul Rahman
Nov 24, 2012 10:40am
Pakistan is a nation based on the religion of Islam. Now what is happensing in Pakistan. Muslims are killing muslims. Pakistan is very worried about muslims in other parts of the world.They are not worried about their own people. Religion and politics should separate.
aaa
Nov 24, 2012 10:46am
its not the processions which is at fault , it is the insane guys who plant bombs that should be stopped
Bilal
Nov 24, 2012 11:33am
Why dont we understand, the bombs were planted in the Imam bargah, in the mosques and in the Shrines. Why should Govt. stop the processions? You might want everyone to stop going to the mosques, imam bargah one day, that is not possible. We should unearth the snakes from their bills and punish them. And those who are supporting the extremist mindset need to be exposed. Hats off to the resilience of Pakistani nation..
Rahul
Nov 24, 2012 10:37am
Pakistan is heading towards civil war. This sunni and shia fight will lead to major crisis in Pakistan. Stop this nonsense killing in the name of Islam
Aamir
Nov 24, 2012 10:28am
Why don't you ask when will government eliminate these terrorist organisations?
Ali
Nov 24, 2012 11:10am
These processions will never be stopped, regardless of how many of us die.
Gaiz
Nov 24, 2012 04:02pm
Why is it that Muslims do not tolerate even other muslims who have diverging views on their religion ? Why is it that Muslims do not allow any other religion to prosper in their land whereas all other religions have allowed Muslims to prosper among themselves. This only shows that Muslims do not have a big heart. They have a small heart and the concept of compassion and love is alien to them.
B R Chawla
Nov 24, 2012 01:49pm
Pakistan is so concerened about Muslims in Myamar, gaza, Kaskmir and indeed everywhere in the world. After all it is the nation of the pure. But they let loose reign of terror on its own coreligionists on its own soil. This is called double talk or hippocrasy. What the did to their brothers in Bangladesh is yet alive. I met a Pakistani friend last month who confided that , obsession of Kashmir has ruined our country'.In his words 'Kashmir ne te saunku kangla kar ditta he. Asan tabha thee gaye han.Kashmiri kehnde sake Han ohna Pakistan nal koi nahin Milana mil Bhi Gaye tan ki thee vesi. It is time Pakistan listens to sane voices. Chawla
zainab
Nov 24, 2012 01:13pm
Mr ehsanullah ehsan,you people are actually cowards.Our Prophet(pbuh)fought face to face with a sword during wars but you guys just plant bombs and run away and then make phone calls from undisclosed locations.Tour time will come too Taliban..there is justice and a God.
Himanshu
Nov 24, 2012 04:54pm
"As you sow, so shall you reap" looks appropriate. By now Pakistan should have realized that it should focus on it's growth rather then others destruction. India and Pakistan share a long common history These people (Talibanese or whatever they call themselves) are faithful to none
jag
Nov 24, 2012 03:30pm
On the home page of dawn.com yesterday the word "kill" was mentioned 7 times "blast" 4 times and "bomb" 4 times.
Srini
Nov 24, 2012 11:29am
This is the same country which got separated from India to build a holy muslim country. Oh my holyness what is going on with the same muslims?
Arnab Majumdar (Mumbai)
Nov 25, 2012 08:17am
It is painful to see the only news coming from pakistan is explosions and deaths everyday. Brothers and Sisters please rise !!
raika45
Nov 24, 2012 12:06pm
Will there ever come a day,when you click on the Dawn news page and see no new killings or bomb blasts occurring anywhere in the country?I don't blame Dawn. It presents the facts.What I mean is that can there be a day when no mayhem occurs in your country.Wishful thinking perhaps but would be a pleasant surprise.
Khurram
Nov 24, 2012 12:20pm
That's the exact point - punish first the ones who are getting them released - that's all political parties and establishment - thinking who will punish them??? civilian ... let see
Irfan Baloch
Nov 24, 2012 12:00pm
my dear the killing is one sided all the minorities are only on the receiving end. Taliban & sipah Sahabah openly claim responsibility but the state & our justice system is unable to stop them
tito
Nov 24, 2012 12:19pm
it seems taliban are running the country ,why our forces are so afraid of these people is beyond me. once we did not took action after mallala incident taliban knew they got free hand we are left to announce the weight of bomb, thats our only expertise.when was the last time any terrorist was hanged in pak?shame on our defense forces shame on our intelligence agencies, shame on our so called independent judiciary