Thursday, 22 November 2012
Pakistan Taliban suicide bomber kills 23 in Rawalpindi

From The Guardian

A Taliban suicide bomber has struck a Shia Muslim procession near Pakistan's capital, killing 23 people in the latest of a series of bombings targeting Shias during the holiest month of the year for the sect.

The bomber attacked the procession around midnight on Wednesday in the city of Rawalpindi, located next to the capital, Islamabad, said Deeba Shahnaz, a state rescue official. At least 62 people were wounded by the blast, including six police officers. Eight of the dead and wounded were children, said Shahnaz.

Police tried to stop and search the bomber as he attempted to join the procession, but he ran past them and detonated his explosives, said senior police official Haseeb Shah. The attacker was also carrying grenades, some of which exploded, said Shah.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Taliban set off two bombs within minutes outside a Shia mosque in the southern city of Karachi, killing at least one person and wounding several others

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attacks in Rawalpindi and Karachi.

"We have a war of belief with Shiites," Ahsan said. "They are blasphemers. We will continue attacking them."

Islamabad is already in lockdown for a D8 summit, bringing together the leaders of eight mostly Muslim countries. Thursday has been declared a holiday to keep people out of the city and thousands of extra police are on duty.

The Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, had been due to attend but has now opted to remain in Cairo to monitor the truce brokered between Hamas and Israel.

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, president of Iran, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister of Turkey, are among the leaders who have arrived for Thursday summit.

Posted on 11/22/2012 2:27 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
22 Nov 2012
Christina McIntosh

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