Suicide bomb attack kills 32 in northwest Pakistan (Fifth Lead)

February 20th, 2009 - 11:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 20 (IANS) At least 32 people were killed and 85 others injured Friday in a powerful suicide bomb attack during a funeral procession in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Dera Ismail Khan, Geo TV reported.
“The funeral procession accompanying the body of Shia elder Sher Zaman (killed Thursday by unidentified gunmen) when reached near the Sobara hotel, a powerful explosion took place,” Syed Mohsin Shah, an official of the local administration, told reporters.

Mohsin said a curfew has been imposed in the city and army has been called in. He urged people to remain in-doors as shoot-on-sight orders have been issued. He also vowed to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.

The official said security personnel are patrolling the streets to maintain law and order in the aftermath of the blast. The injured were rushed to different hospitals in the city. The condition of several victims was said to be critical.

The enraged mourners and family members of the victims protested the incident and resorted to aerial firing, the report said.

The protestors burnt vehicle tyres and pelted stones on buildings and vehicles. The police rushed to the scene and started a search operation. The situation remained tense as intermittent incidents of firing were reported from different parts of the city, it said.

President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti strongly condemned the suicide attack.

Dera Ismail Khan, one of the districts in NWFP, is tainted with deadly sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shia communities.

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