16 Killed in Pakistan Blast

Posted January 15th, 2012 at 9:00 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistani officials say a bomb ripped through a Shi'ite Muslim religious procession Sunday in Punjab province, killing at least 16 people.

Authorities say some 20 others were wounded in the blast, which occurred in Rahim Yar Khan district. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Reuters news agency quotes police as saying the remote controlled bomb was planted near a utility pole and detonated as the procession approached.

The bombing came after hundreds of Pakistani Shiites assembled in the town of Khanpur for a procession marking the 40th day of mourning for the 7th century death of the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussain.

Shiites make up about 20 percent of Pakistan's mostly Sunni Muslim population of 160 million people. Shi'ite processions are often targeted by Sunni Muslim militants who view Shiites as heretics.