Toll rises in Pakistan sectarian riot

Six employees of an American fast food restaurant have been burnt alive after an angry mob, protesting against the bombing of a Shia mosque in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Monday, set fire to the place, police say.

    The restaurant was torched after an attack on a mosque

    Senior police official Manzoor Mughal said on Tuesday that they had recovered bodies of six employees at a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant in the southern city of Karachi. Four of them had been burned alive, while two died after hiding in a cold storage at the restaurant, he said.

     

    "Their bodies were found during the search of KFC," city police chief Tariq Jamil said.

     

    The arson came in response to an attack by three men, who stormed the minority Shia Madinat-ul-Ilm mosque in the middle-class Gulshan neighbourhood of the city during evening prayers late on Monday.

     

    One of the assailants died in the ensuing gun battle with police, while the other was said to have blown himself up. The third sustained a serious head injury in a fall, Jamil said.

     

    Hospital officials said the man was unconscious, but in a stable condition.

     

    Critical cases

     

    Two worshippers and one policeman also died in the attack, while 21 people, four of them in a critical condition, were admitted to hospital.

     

    The Shia mosque in Karachi was
    attacked by three men

    Angry protesters went on the rampage after the attack, setting fire to two petrol stations and a number of vehicles in addition to the restaurant.

     

    The attack on the mosque came just three days after 19 people, most of them Shia, died in a bomb blast at a Muslim shrine near the capital Islamabad.

     

    Thousands of Shia and majority Sunni Muslims have been killed in sectarian bloodshed in Pakistan in recent years with attacks, including bomb blasts, bombings and targeted killings. Last year, 160 people were killed in sectarian violence.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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