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Blast kills 30 in Pak

A suicide bomber attacked a funeral procession for an assassinated local Shia Muslim leader in northwest Pakistan on Friday, killing 30 people and putting furious mobs on the rampage.

world Updated: Feb 21, 2009 13:15 IST
SH Khan

A suicide bomber attacked a funeral procession for an assassinated local Shia Muslim leader in northwest Pakistan on Friday, killing 30 people and putting furious mobs on the rampage.

The explosion took place near a Shia mosque in Dera Ismail Khan, a town on the edge of Pakistan’s restive tribal areas with a history of sectarian violence, which has been on the rise in the Sunni-majority country.

“Thirty people have died and 65 are injured,” Saadullah Khan, a police official in the town, told AFP by telephone.

Soldiers were ordered to deploy and a curfew enforced after intense volleys of gunfire from panicked mourners at the funeral for the late Sher Zaman degenerated into angry riots.

In Dera Ismail Khan, mobs pumped bullets into the air, pelted stones at cars, ransacked shops, torched buses and set up road blocks with burning tyres in the dusty, low-rise town, residents told AFP by telephone from the town.

“A curfew has been imposed in the city,” district administration chief Syed Mohsin Shah told AFP.

Zaman, the local Shia activist who was being buried on Friday, was shot dead by unknown gunmen riding on the back of a motorbike in a busy Dera Ismail Khan market on Thursday.