July 24, 2014

Shiite families refuse to bury 50 bomb victims in Pakistan

By Sadaf Shinwari - Sat Jan 12, 2:06 pm

Pakistani Shiites protestAbout 1,000 Pakistani Shiites are protesting in the southwest for a second day, blocking a main road with the bodies of relatives killed in a bombing to demand the government provide better security.

On Thursday, at least 92 Pakistanis lost their lives and more than 200 others were injured in twin bomb attacks that targeted Shia Muslims in a crowded billiards hall in Quetta. Earlier in the day, 12 security forces were also killed in a bomb explosion at a security check point in the city.

The attack was one of three that took place across Pakistan on Thursday, killing 120 people in the country’s deadliest day in five years.

The billiards hall was located in a predominantly Shia area, and most of the dead and wounded were from the sect.

Police in the city of Quetta had earlier said that the protest had ended, but Shiite leader Ibrahim Hazara said Saturday that it would continue until the city is handed over to the army and the provincial government dismissed. Some 50 coffins are blocking the road.

Members of the community laid about 50 of their dead on the street on Friday, saying that they would not bury them until the government improves security in the area.

It appeared to be Pakistan’s worst day of violence since October 2007, when 150 were killed in a bombing aimed at Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto. She survived the blast but was assassinated two months later.

Five people who were wounded in the twin bombings at the billiards hall late Thursday died of their wounds overnight, said Quetta senior police official Hamid Shakeel, putting the death toll from that attack at 86.

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