Suicide bombings targeting Shiite Muslims on Tuesday killed 16 people in Pakistan, 13 in Lahore and three in Karachi.
The Lahore blast occurred in front of a market and near a procession of
Shiite mourners commemorating the 40th day of Ashura, which observes the death
of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson.
In Karachi, a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle blew himself up next to
a police van at a security checkpoint outside another Shiite festival, police
said. Two police officers were killed in the blast. Police say Shiites were the
The attacks reflect the sectarian violence that erupts in Pakistan from
time to time. Shiite Muslims are a minority in Pakistan, a Sunni majority
Zahid Pervez, medical superintendent at a hospital in Lahore, told
reporters that dead bodies, including one woman, were brought to the hospital.
Police said at least four officers were killed. Pervez said 52 injured people
were also brought to the hospital, and 15 of them were in critical condition.
Shakir Ullah Shakir, a spokesman for the Fedayeen-e-Islam, said his group
targeted the Lahore procession and labeled the Shiites enemies of Islam.
The group is an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban and Laskhar-e Jangvi. Both Sunni militant groups are notorious for targeting Pakistan's Shiites.
One of the senior leaders of Fedayeen-e Islam is Qari Hussein - widely believed to be the trainer of child suicide bombers for the Pakistani Taliban.
Nayab Haider, Lahore police spokesman, told CNN the suicide bomber was between 13 to 15 years old and that the boy tried to enter the procession carrying a bag.
Moments after police stopped him, the attacker blew himself up, Haider said.
Local TV reports showed footage of debris and rescue crews whisking away injured people.
Pakistani intelligence agencies had warned Shiite religious leaders in Pakistan's major cities about the threat of attacks targeting events commemorating the holy day.