26 SHIITES KILLED IN PAKISTAN SECTARIAN BOMBING
26 SHIITES KILLED IN PAKISTAN SECTARIAN
A suicide attacker on a motorcycle, on Friday 02/17/2012, has blown himself up close to a Mosque in FATA , Northwest Pakistan, killing at least 26 people and wounding scores more in an attack claimed by the Taliban.
The bomber detonated his explosive vest outside a Mosque after Friday prayers in a Shiaa Muslim neighbourhood in the Kurram tribal region, near the Afghan border, government officials said.
Three more people were killed when police shot at protesters from the Shiaa community after the bombing in Parashinar, the main town in Kurram, an official said. A curfew was later imposed in Parashinar (see also – Parashinar 11.18.07).
The blast destroyed shops in the market, trapping some people, Wajid Ali, a local government administrator, said.
Fazal Saeed, the leader of a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. “We have targeted the Shiaa community of Parashinar because they were involved in activities against us,” he told the Reuters news agency by telephone from an undisclosed location. “We also warn the political administration of Parashinar to stop siding with the Shiaa community in all our disputes.”
Fazal Saeed was part of the Tehrik-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) but broke away last year after disputes with the umbrella group’s leadership. He is said to have close ties with the Haqqani group, one of the most feared factions of the Afghan Taliban.
The attack in Parashinar came as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of mainly Shiaa Iran, was visiting Pakistan for a summit to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan.
The Taliban and Al Qaeda’s anti-Shiaa ideology has meant years of bloody fighting.
Pakistan’s army and air force have been conducting operations against armed groups in Kurram since the beginning of the year.
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