Sunday, April 3, 2011

At least 50 killed in twin suicide bombings in Pakistan

A double suicide bombing at a mosque in Pakistan has killed at least 50 people and a hundred wounded. The explosions occurred at the entrance to the mosque Sufi Sakhi Sarwar, in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan (center), where thousands of devotees to hold an annual three-day festival in honor of the saint that names the temple .

"We have taken 30 bodies and 100 injured to hospitals," said Natiq Hayat, head of rescue services in Dera Ghazi Khan, near the town of Multan, in the eastern province of Punjab. Police have raised the death toll to 50. "I was a few meters from the mansard roof when the blast occurred," he told a witness.

"People started running out of the mosque. Women and children were crying and shouting. It was like hell," he described. Police have confirmed that three terrorists with suicide vests came walking to the place. Two of them detonated their charges to be stopped by officers, as France Presse.

The third, according to police, was arrested when he was alone hurt it failed to fully detonate the explosives. The rescue efforts have been hampered by the lack of ambulances and the narrowness of the streets in the area where the mosque, according to Pakistani Geo chain. Several of the wounded taken to nearby district hospital in critical condition.

The devotees staged a protest after the explosions, according to the chain. It was the fifth suicide attack suffered by the country in five days. In the last three and half years, about 4,200 people have died in more than 450 attacks by Taliban linked to Al Qaeda, also claimed responsibility for the latter.

"Our men have carried out these attacks and conduct more in response to government operations against our people in the northwest," a spokesman said by telephone. The Sufis, a minority group seeking a mystical interpretation of Islam away from the rigor, are frequently victims of attacks by radicals, who consider them heretics.

Last July, another bombing of a Sufi temple in Lahore killed more than 40 dead. In October, six people died in an attack on a mosque in the Punjab. Shiites and Christians also suffer the blows of the Taliban, although many analysts believe that the attacks, beyond religious differences, trying to inflame sectarian tensions to destabilize the country and weaken the government.

The attack was condemned by the Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who in a statement called it "cowardly", ordered an investigation and vowed to eliminate the "threat" of terrorism "immediately," Efe reported.

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