PESHAWAR: A grenade attack wounded 25 people, including women and children, at a Shiite parade Thursday on the eve of the holiest day of Ashura in Peshawar, officials said.
The attack took place in one of the main squares in the northwestern city, which runs into Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, branded by Washington the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and a stronghold of Taliban networks.
“Twenty-five injured were brought to our hospital. There are women and children among them. One child is in a serious condition,” said Abdul Hamid Afridi, head of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital.
“It was a grenade attack,” Peshawar administration chief Mohammad Siraj told AFP, adding that police had failed to arrest the culprit.
Police initially said 11 people were wounded as the procession ended.
A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shiite religious procession in Chabahar in neighbouring Iran on Wednesday, killing 33 people and wounding 83 in an attack claimed by Sunni rebel group Jundallah.
Iran said the attack originated from a Jundallah (Army of God) base in Pakistan, where more than 4,000 people have died in outbreaks of sectarian violence between the groups since the late 1980s.
Ashura is one of the high points of the Shiite calendar, when large crowds of worshippers gather in Shiite areas of Pakistan.
Last year Pakistan’s main Taliban faction claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed 43 people at a Shiite parade in Karachi on Ashura, in one of the deadliest single sectarian-linked attacks in the country. – AFP