DHAKA: A roadside bomb killed at least three people near a Shia procession in Pakistan, police said, while security forces were on high alert over fears of large-scale attacks on the minority sect across the country.
The attack occurred on Saturday in the city of Dera Ismail Khanin Pakistan’s northwest, a stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked extreme Sunni groups who regard Shias as non-Muslims and have stepped up sectarian attacks in a bid to destabilise Pakistan.
Hardline Sunnis have threatened more attacks as the Shia mourning month of Muharram comes to a climax, reports Al Jazeera.
More than a dozen people have already been killed this week observing Muharram commemorations.
Pakistan is suspending phone coverage in many cities this weekend during Ashura, an important one in the Shia Muslim calendar, after a series of bomb attacks on Shia triggered by mobile phones.
Intelligence information indicates more attacks have been planned for the coming days in the capital city of Islamabad, Karachi and Quetta.
In Karachi, more than 5,000 police are expected to patrol the streets during the weekend,
Muharram marks the anniversary of the Battle of Karbala, where the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and his family members were killed.
BDST: 1156 HRS, NOV 24, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor,firstname.lastname@example.org
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