Turkey condemns latest sectarian attack in Pakistan
Turkey has condemned Sunday blast during a religious procession in eastern Pakistan, killing 13 people and wounding at least 20 in the latest sectarian attack in the volatile country, Today's Zaman reported.
Hundreds of Pakistani Shiites had gathered in the town of Khanpur in Punjab province for a traditional procession to mark the end of 40 days of mourning following the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a revered seventh-century figure.
The explosion went off as the mourners came out of a mosque. The bomb appeared to have been planted ahead of time in the path of the procession. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Pakistani Taliban and other Sunni extremist groups have in the past claimed responsibility for the bombings of Shiite religious sites and ceremonies. Many Sunni extremists in Pakistan regard Shiites as heretics.
The Taliban and other groups have carried out hundreds of bombings over the last five years that have killed thousands of Pakistani troops and civilians as part of a campaign to install a hard-line Islamist government.
The attacks are so common that the country's interior minister in December actually thanked the Taliban for acting on what he said was a "request" not to stage attacks during the Shiite rituals of Ashoura that month.