14 people killed in four blasts in Pakistan

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 21:25 hrs

Karachi/Islamabad: At least 14 people were killed and dozens more injured in four terror attacks across Pakistan today, including bombings outside Shia prayer halls in Karachi and Rawalpindi.

The blasts came on the eve of the Developing Eight summit, which brings together Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey in Islamabad.

The first blast occurred when a suicide bomber's explosives detonated when his motorcycle collided with an auto-rickshaw a short distance from the main gate of the Imambargah at Orangi Town.

Besides the suicide attacker, the auto-rickshaw driver was killed in the first blast. Police said they had collected the body parts of the suicide bomber.

About an hour later, an improvised explosive device (IED) planted near the same Imambargah was triggered by remote control as rescue workers and members of a bomb disposal were clearing the site of the first blast.

A large number of reporters and television cameramen were present at the time of the second blast.

Over 15 people, including media representatives, two children and security personnel, were injured in the attacks.

In Quetta, the capital of the restive Balochistan province, five persons, including three security personnel and a woman, were killed and 28 more injured when a security forces vehicle was hit by a powerful roadside bomb at Shahbaz town.

A bomb with about 15 kg of explosives was attached to a motorcycle and detonated by remote control as the security forces vehicle was passing the area, police said. The vehicle was escorting another vehicle carrying school children.

Nea security personnel were among the injured and some of them were in a serious condition, police said. Several buildings and vehicles in the neighbourhood were damaged.

In the third incident, militants gunned down four policemen, including a police station chief, at Bannu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The militants fired at a police vehicle that was on a routine patrol, killing the policemen instantly.

The fourth blast occurred near a Shia prayer hall in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, killing four persons and injuring several others.

Witnesses and police said the blast occurred outside Qasr-e-Shabbir Imambargah on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, while hundreds of people were attending a 'majlis' or religious gathering to mark the Islamic month of Muharram.

A large procession had reached the Imambargarh from another nearby prayer hall when the explosion occurred.

Security forces cordoned off the prayer hall which is located in short distance from the Rawalpindi cantonment. Rescue workers rushed the injured to nearby hospitals.

The exact nature of the blast, which occurred at about 11:30 PM could not immediately be ascertained.

There were no claims of responsibility for the attacks.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the media this evening that there were reports that terrorists intent on destabilising Karachi and Quetta could carry out more attacks tomorrow.

He said the terrorists were likely to target Imambargahs and owners of shops around the prayer halls had been asked to close their outlets tomorrow.

Malik claimed some Afghan nationals and members of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi were behind the attacks.

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