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Central & South Asia
Deadly suicide blast rocks Lahore
At least 10 people killed near Shia Muslim procession in Pakistan city, while four others die in attack in Karachi.
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2011 08:30 GMT
The bombing took place at a busy intersection in central Lahore [EPA]

A teenage suicide bomber has blown himself up near a Shia Muslim procession in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing at least 10 people and wounding more than 50.

The dead included at least three police officials and one woman. A group called Fiddayan Islam has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Zahid Pervez, a doctor at the eastern city's main Mayo Hospital, said: "We have received nine bodies so far." 

There were 52 people wounded, 20 of them critically, including women and children, Pervez said.

"It was a suicide attack," said senior police official Rana Faisal.

"The bomber came close to our checkpoint, threw a bag near a car and blew himself up when policemen tried to stop him."

The bombing took place at a busy intersection in central Lahore and the wreckage of a white car could be seen at the scene.

Television footage showed policemen and ambulance workers carrying the wounded away on stretchers, while other officers tried to calm a confused crowd.

Another senior police official, Rao Sardar, said police had tried to apprehend the boy before he blew himself up.

"The policeman stopped this boy and wanted to body search him ... The boy was 16 years old," he said.

The suicide attack took place near a religious procession by the Shia Muslim community to mark the 40th day of mourning of the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussain.

A city of eight million near the border with India, Lahore has been increasingly subject to Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked attacks in a nationwide bombing campaign that has killed more than 4,000 people in three-and-a-half  years.

Triple suicide bombings targeting a Shia mourning procession killed at least 31 people and wounded 280 others in Lahore in early September.

The violence is often sectarian in nature and blamed on homegrown Taliban fighters and extremist networks.

Karachi blast

In a separate development on Tuesday, a motorcycle bomb detonated in the southern city of Karachi, causing up to four deaths and a number of injuries.

"It was a motorcycle bomb," city police chief Fayyaz Leghari said.

"When the bomb exploded it was huge and heard far away. Some people have been injured, but we are still collecting details about the blast and wounded," he said.

The bomb took place near a Shia procession in Karachi's densely populated eastern neighbourhood of Kala Board.

Source:
Agencies
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