South Asia News
Suicide bombing near Pakistani mosque kills 11
Aug 31, 2011, 10:59 GMT
Islamabad - A car suicide bombing on Wednesday killed at least 11 people and injured 21 in south-west Pakistan, police said.
The attack took place in the parking lot of a mosque when hundreds of Shia Muslims were leaving after Eid al Fitr prayers for the end of Ramadan in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.
'The attacker wanted to ram the explosive-laden car into Eid Gah (the mosque) but the explosion occurred in the parking lot,' city police chief Ahsan Mehboob said, adding that due to 'tight security' around the mosque the attacker could not get beyond the car park.
'The death toll now is 11 as one among the 22 injured people died at the hospital,' Mehboob said. 'Two women and a boy are among the dead. They were present in a nearby park.'
Television footage showed clouds of smoke rising from the car park where more than 10 vehicles caught fire following the blast. Two nearby houses were also damaged.
No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack on the Shia mosque.
Abdul Khaliq Hazara from the Hazara Democratic Party condemned the attack and expressed grave concern over the regular attacks against Shia Muslims in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.
Shias in Quetta mostly belong to the Hazara ethnic group, members of which have migrated from the north-western region of Hazara.
Hundreds of people have died in the clashes between minority Shia and majority Sunni Muslims across Pakistan in recent years.