Latest Massive Attack on Shi'ites in Recent Weeks
Multiple major attacks killed hundreds of Shi’ites in the month of February, and March is starting off no better for the religious minority in Pakistan, with a huge double bombing in the Shi’ite neighborhood of the financial capital of Karachi killing at least 48 and wounding 180 others.
The twin blasts targeted a Shi’ite prayer hall as people were leaving from evening prayers. The first blast was a car bombing, and a second blast was detonated 10 minutes later as people were trying to rescue the wounded from the first blast. Police say the second strike was likely a gas bomb.
Shi’ite residents have been complaining nationwide about the government’s relative ambivalence about such attacks, and today’s strikes appeared to follow that trend, with residents noting not a single government official even bothered to visit the area in the aftermath.
So far there has been no claim of responsibility, but the smart money is on the Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ), a Sunni militant group that was founded primarily to attack Shi’ites, who they consider religious heretics. The LeJ has claimed similar attacks in the past, including last month’s Quetta bombings.
The sectarian violence adds complexity to an already difficult situation in Karachi, where supporters of the two major local political parties, divided largely along ethnic lines, have been trading attacks for years.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Free Syrian Army Plans Suicide Attacks on Russians - October 13th, 2015
- Turkey Warns Both US, Russia Against Backing Kurds - October 13th, 2015
- US Arms Shipments Fuel Proxy War With Russia Over Syria - October 13th, 2015
- Taliban Leaves Kunduz to Focus on Fighting in Southern Afghanistan - October 13th, 2015
- US Weapons Drops Arming Unvetted Syrian Rebel Factions - October 13th, 2015