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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Thousands attend Karachi funerals
Relatives carry the coffins of Karachi blast victims in Pakistan
Some funerals were held on Wednesday
Tens of thousands of mourners have attended funerals in the Pakistani city of Karachi for four Sunni Muslim leaders killed in a bomb attack.

Leaders of the Sunni Tehrik group were among at least 57 killed and 80 wounded by a suspected suicide bomber during prayers in a park on Tuesday.

Mourners heeded appeals for calm and dispersed peacefully after the burials.

Troops, who are out in force in Karachi to prevent disturbances, watched from a distance as crowds paid their respects.

Karachi is mourning the death of so many religious leaders and scholars
Shahid Ghori,
Sunni Tehrik party

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is in Karachi and has urged police to find those behind the attack without delay.

Karachi has a history of religious and ethnic violence.

The authorities have said they have no clue as to who might have carried out the bombing.

'Lapse'

Mr Aziz told reporters earlier on Thursday that only one suicide bomber had been involved in the attack and efforts were being made to establish his identity.

Mr Aziz chaired a meeting of top police and intelligence officials and told them he wanted a thorough investigation into allegations that there had been a security lapse at the religious gathering where the explosion occurred.

Since then, army troops have been patrolling the city's streets to ensure security following unrest after the bomb explosion.

The BBC's Zaffar Abbas in Karachi says the blast is being described as one of the worst incidents of suicide bombing against Pakistan's majority Sunni Muslim community.

He says the people who faced the brunt of the blast were moderate Sunnis who have mostly kept away from sectarian conflict.

Anger

Members of the Sunni Tehrik, or movement, are not impressed by the authorities' actions, our correspondent says.

A policeman chases a boy as protests against the blast turned violent
The bomb attack sparked angry protests in Karachi

They lost almost their entire top leadership in the blast and are furious over the failure to provide protection to gatherings of moderate religious groups.

Their newly-appointed acting leadership has threatened to resort to extreme action if the authorities fail to arrest those behind the attack.

The group has also called for a countrywide strike on Friday in protest at the attack.

The explosion took part during evening prayers at a festival to mark Prophet Muhammad's birthday. The Sunni organisation, Jamaat-e-Ahle Sunnat - which is part of the wider Sunni Tehrik movement - organised the event.

At the weekend the same community lost 29 women and children in a stampede during prayers at a Karachi Islamic centre. The prayers were a part of the celebrations in honour of the Prophet.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The aftermath of the bombing in traumatised Karachi



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