Seven Shias, including four children, were killed on Saturday after the Taliban in Pakistan targeted their procession in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. According to local police, a remote-controlled bomb detonated close to Dera Ismail Khan during the Shia march to commemorate the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussain.
The attack, that left seven dead and thirty injured, was a blow to Pakistani police who claimed to be heightening security across the country after a suicide bomb on Thursday, also targeting Shias, killed 23 people in Rawalpindi.
Despite authorities suspending mobile phone services in most major cities, yesterday’s bombing still went ahead. “The government can make whatever security arrangements it wants but it cannot stop our attacks,” Taliban spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, told AFP today.
Sectarian attacks in Sunni-dominated Pakistan are not uncommon and although Sunnis also revere Imam Hussein, some hardliners believe that publicly mourning him should be outlawed. Local police chief, Khalid Suhail, told reporters that the dead children were aged between six and 11 years. “They were young boys,” he said.