Karachi, SPA — Five people were killed and over a dozen injured in a suicide bombing at a mosque used by Shiite Moslems in Pakistan”s port city of Karachi Monday evening, police officials said.
"Those killed in the bombing included the attacker, one of his two accomplices, a private security guard, a police official and a civilian," police official Tariq Jameel told Deutsche Presse Agentur dpa.
Jameel said the bomber walked into the mosque during evening prayers and blew himself up when a police official on security duty intercepted him, dpa reported.
An accomplice was killed in an exchange of fire with security officials outside the mosque while a third sustained serious injuries.
The injured were being moved to hospitals as local law enforcement agencies were placed on high alert amid mounting tensions in the city”s Gulshan-e-Iqbal area, where the mosque is located.
Hundreds of angry people in Gulshan-e-Iqbal and its neighbouring areas took to the streets and set ablaze a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant, two gas stations and a number of private and public transport vehicles. The incident is the second suicide bombing in the last three days in Pakistan. As many as 19 people were killed and scores of others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a religious gathering of Shiite Moslems in Islamabad on Friday.
Suicide bombings have intensified all over Pakistan, particularly in Karachi, since President General Pervez Musharraf banned six sectarian and extremist groups in January 2002, almost a year after joining the U.S.-led war against terror.
In October 2004 two suicide bomb attacks on religious gatherings of both Sunni and Shiite Moslems in the southern cities of Sialkot and Multan killed nearly 70 people with over 100 wounded.
Another 50 people were killed in the southwestern city of Quetta in March 2004 when assailants opened fire on a procession of Shiite Moslems marking the holy month of Muharram.
Hours after an attack on a Shiite gathering in Islamabad last Friday, President Musharraf appealed to all Pakistanis to stand up to extremism.
"They should stop if they see anyone trying to incite hatred, publish and spread hate material or misuse the mosque for provoking hatred," he said.
He also vowed to continue taking stringent measures to deal with the menaces of extremism, sectarianism and terrorism.