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Suicide bomber kills 25 in Pakistan
From The Australian
A SUICIDE bomber has struck Pakistan's largest procession of Shi'ite Muslims on the holiest day in their calendar, killing 25 people and wounding dozens more, defying a major security clampdown.
The blast unleashed riots in Karachi, the financial capital, where angry mourners went on the rampage, throwing stones at ambulances, torching cars and shops and firing bullets into the air, sparking appeals for calm.
"The blast was so huge that I felt my hearing had gone, but then I started hearing cries of injured people and saw pieces of human flesh and blood on the road,' said Abbas Ali, 35, one of the mourners thrown to the ground.
"Some were crying and some were running here and there with panicked faces. My younger brother was with me; I looked for him and was told he was injured and sent to hospital,' he said.
Pakistan had deployed tens of thousands of police and paramilitary forces, fearing sectarian clashes or militant attacks at Ashura processions, when Shi'ites whip themselves to mourn the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein.
"It was a suicide attack. He was walking with the procession and he blew himself up,' Interior Minister Rehman Malik told private television, calling on the Shi'ite community to suspend their commemorations.
More than 50,000 Shi'ites had taken to the streets, marching in black or beating their naked torsos with chains and slicing their skin with knives.