In the killing fields of Pakistan, the bloodletting continues unabated. On March 03, the attack on the Shiite minority in the seaport city of Karachi claimed 45 lives, Women and children were among the dead. At least 150 others were critically wounded. The powerful explosion ripped through a crowd of Shiites as they left a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.
An Ahmadi muslim man was also among the dead. Mubashir Ahmad Abbasi of Abbas Town went missing after the blast. Spokesperson of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Pakistan Mr Saleem ud Din confirmed the 43 year old’s death after his dead body was identified by his relatives.
The blast is thought to have been caused by a vehicle loaded with about 150 kilograms (330 lbs) of explosives set to a timer, the explosion took place in Abbas Town, an area of Karachi where many Shiite Muslims live. Apartments and shops were reduced to rubble. While no group has yet claimed responsibility, the Sunni militant Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has carried out previous assaults on Shiites.
Last last month, the authorities in Punjab Province detained the Lashkar leader, Malik Ishaq, but as Sunday’s violence in Karachi suggests, it seems unlikely that his detention will halt sectarian attacks. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the LeJ was responsible for 80 percent of terrorist activity in the country.
It was the third mass casualty attack since the beginning of the year against Shiites. The first two killed nearly 200 people in the southwestern city of Quetta. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group known for its virulent hatred of Shiite Muslims, claimed responsibility for the two attacks.
Last year was one of the most deadly for Shiites in the country’s history. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 Shiite Muslims were killed across Pakistan in 2012. This year could be even more dangerous with nearly 250 Shiites already killed in the three attacks.