23 dead in Sindh suicide attack on Shia mourners
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): At least 23 people have been killed, mostly children, and 40 others wounded in a suicide attack on Shiite mourners in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh, officials said on Saturday.
Following the assault on the Moharram procession on Friday evening, Jaccobaad town was handed over to the army and an emergency was declared at all hospitals across the district.
The suicide bombing happened when the mourning procession was returning, causing suspension of power supply to the entire area, which was strewn with charred pieces of human flesh.
A senior police officer told reporters at the site the explosion occurred in Lashari near Murtaza Park. A pistol was recovered from the scene, Senior Superintendent of Police Zafar Malik said, adding 40 people were wounded.
As Sindh Transport Minister Mumtaz Jakhrani put the death toll at 23, Civil Hospital Medical Superintendent Altaf Waggan said they had received 15 bodies. He feared the number of fatalities could soar, given the critical wounds suffered by several processionists.
Volunteers rushed to the hospital to donate blood. Many of the injured were evacuated in a critical condition to the Jacobabad Airbase, from where they were flown to hospitals in the port city of Karachi. The bomber’s hands have been found and sent to a forensic laboratory for identification.
The attack triggered an angry protest, with demonstrators calling the blast the result of a security lapse. They accused the district administration of failing to provide appropriate security for the mourning procession. They stopped the transport minister from entering the hospital.
Police fired into the air and used teargas to disperse the protestors. Three officials of the Sukkur Electric Power Company were attacked with knives for non-supply of electricity. Four vehicles of the company were set on fire.
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