Blast kills 29 at funeral in Pakistan (Fourth Lead)

February 20th, 2009 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 20 (DPA) A blast ripped through a funeral procession in north-western Pakistan Friday, killing at least 29 people and wounding dozens more, a police official said.
The attack took place in the town of Dera Ismail Khan near the Afghan border when Shiite Muslims were marching to a mosque to offer funeral prayers for a community member who was fatally shot Thursday.

Gunfire broke out after the explosion, and enraged crowds of Shiite Muslims torched vehicles and ransacked shops after the blast, which was believed to have been carried out by a suicide bomber.

“Twenty nine bodies have been moved to the hospital and more than 50 wounded are being treated here,” an official at the city’s main hospital said on condition of anonymity.

However, the city’s chief administrator Syyed Mohsin Shah confirmed 20 deaths but feared the numbers might rise.

He said the preliminary investigations show that it might have been a suicide bombing.

More than 1,500 people were participating in the funeral procession.

Shah said military troops with shoot-on-sight orders have been deployed in the town to quell riots.

Dera Ismail Khan’s history is tainted with deadly sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shiite communities.

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