[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Deadly bomb strikes Pakistani Shia pilgrims

Nineteen people killed after bomb strikes pair of buses carrying Shia Muslims in southwest Balochistan province.
Last Modified: 30 Dec 2012 14:08

At least 19 people have been killed after a bomb struck a pair of buses carrying Shia Muslim pilgrims in southwest Pakistan, a local official has said.

Zubair Ahmed said the attack on Sunday in Balochistan province's Mastung district wounded at least 15 people, including three women.

The bomb was strapped to a motorcycle and detonated by remote control. One bus was almost completely destroyed. The other was damaged. 

Ahmed said the buses were coming from neighbouring Iran, a majority Shia country and popular destination for religious pilgrims.

There was no claim of responsibility for the incident.

Al Jazeera's correspondent Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said there were suggestions that a suicide bomber had carried out the attack but "according to the deputy commissioner the device was a remote control bomb that targeted the bus and not a suicide attack as reported earlier".

"At the time at least three buses were travelling in close proximity of each other," our correspondent said.

Pakistan has experienced a spike in killings over the last year by radical Sunni Muslims targeting Shias who they consider heretics. 

Many attacks have occurred in Balochistan, believed to be a hiding place for senior Afghan Taliban commanders and also the site of a decades-long insurgency by nationalists.

207

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
join our mailing list