32 killed in suicide attack in Pakistan

At least 32 people were killed and nearly 160 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the funeral procession of a Shia cleric in the Pakistani city of Dera Ismail Khan.

Written by Agencies | Islamabad | Published:February 20, 2009 8:23 pm

At least 32 people were killed and nearly 160 injured on Friday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the funeral procession of a Shia cleric in the Pakistani city of Dera Ismail Khan,sparking angry protests which prompted authorities to impose curfew and call in army.

The suicide bomber struck the 1,500-strong funeral procession of cleric Sher Zaman,who was killed by unidentified gunmen yesterday and the blast created mayhem throwing bodies up in the air.

The city in the northwestern region,located close to the Taliban-infested Waziristan district,has been the scene of rising sectarian violence with at least six attacks reported in the past few months.

District police chief Mohammad Iqbal said that 28 people were killed and 157 injured in the powerful blast. Though the procession had security cover,the bomber emerged from a crowded bus terminal on the route of the procession and blew himself up,he said.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast.

Officials said the attack could be linked to sectarian rivalries.

Meanwhile,President Asif Ali Zardari,Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani,Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti condemned the attack.

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