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Bomb targeting Muharram procession kills 20 in Jacobabad

Updated October 23, 2015

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People stand at the site of a bombing in Jacobabad, Sindh. —Reuters
People stand at the site of a bombing in Jacobabad, Sindh. —Reuters

JACOBABAD: A bomb targeted a Muharram procession near Shershah Haveli in Jacobabad's Lashari Mohalla Friday evening, killing at least 20 people and injuring many others, DawnNews reported.

SSP Jacobabad Malik Zafar Iqbal Awan claimed “police have recovered lower part of the body of the possible suicide bomber from the site.”

Security and rescue teams rushed to the site following the explosion. The dead and the injured were shifted to Civil Hospital Jacobabad, where an emergency has been declared.

Rescue and hospital sources told DawnNews that at least 20 persons were killed in the incident, including four children.

Speaking to Dawn.com over phone from the site of the attack, SSP Jacobabad said more than 15 people were killed in the attack.

The police officer explained that the blast took place in a six-feet wide alley in Lashari Mohalla.

The director general health services of Sindh, Dr Hassan Murad Shah, said an emergency has been declared in District Hospital Jacobabad.

He, however, avoided confirming the number of dead bodies received by the district hospital.

Security personnel cordoned off the area following the incident, while a search and rescue operation was initiated.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah strongly condemned the blast, and expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives. The chief minister prayed for early recovery of the injured.

Sectarian violence has claimed thousands of lives in the country over the past decade.

Yesterday, a suicide attacker blew himself outside an imambargah in Bolan’s Goth Chalghari area, killing at least 10 people and injuring many others.

Today's attack is the second deadliest bombing on a Shia congregation after 61 people were killed and at least another 60 were injured in a bomb explosion in an imambargah in upper Sindh district of Shikarpur on Jan 30, 2015.

Law enforcement agencies in Sindh had found a “nexus between sectarian terrorists and anti-state elements”, posing a threat to peace during Muharram.

The intelligence agencies were told to keep an eye on the Indian intelligence agency RAW during the month, it emerged.

The Sindh government had already imposed a ban on pillion riding in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana.

Moreover, cell phone services have also been suspended in major cities, including Karachi, as a security measure during the observance of Muharram.

The gatherings and processions during Muharram mark Hazrat Hussain's (RA) martyrdom in the Battle of Karbala, Iraq, in 680 AD.