At least 25 people were killed and 60 others injured in this Pakistani port city on Monday when a suicide bomber, defying a major security clampdown targeted the main Muslim Shia religious Ashura procession, marking the tenth day of the holy month of Muharram.
It was the third sectarian attack on the minority community in as many days in the port city of Karachi and came inspite of police and security agencies enforcing a massive vigil over the traditional procession route.
Sagheer Ahmed, the Health Minister of Sindh province, told Geo News channel that over 20 bodies and more than 60 injured people were received at hospitals. Geo TV reported that the death toll has risen to at least 25.
The terror attack came close on the heels of a militant bombing that killed eight people in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir capital of Muzaffarabad and Karachi on Sunday night.
Karachi Police chief Waseem Ahmed said it was a suicide attack."We have retrieved a head of a bomber which confirms it was a suicide attack," he told media. The procession was headed towards a nearby imambargah. Dense smoke rose from the site of the blast as people ran in panic. Police fired in the air immediately after the explosion.
Appealing for calm, Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal said, "I want to appeal to the people, to my brothers, my elders to stay calm. I am hearing people are clashing with police and doctors. Please do not do that. That is what terrorists are aiming at. They want to see this city again on fire."