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Sunday, January 15, 2012

18 killed in Khanpur, Pakistan Chehlum procession blast


A bomb blast ripped through a religious procession on Sunday, killing 18 people and wounding at least 20 others in Khanpur town of Rahim Yar Khan, police said. Hundreds of Pakistani Shiites had gathered in the town of Khanpur in Punjab province for a traditional procession to mark the end of 40 days of mourning following the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain. The explosion went off as the mourners came out of a mosque, said District Police Chief Sohail Chatta. The bomb appeared to have been planted ahead of time in the path of the procession, he said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Police officer Ghazanfer Ali said the crowd of mourners started throwing rocks at police after the blast and officers had to lob tear gas canisters into the crowd to control them. Officials had originally thought the explosion came from a malfunctioning electric cable, but later found that there had been a bomb, he said. Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah said police investigators were still examining the area for clues. Security had been provided for the procession, but it had been breached, Sanaullah said. 

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