Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Bomb hits Pakistan Shia funeral

A paramedic treats one of the wounded in Dera Ismail Khan, 21 Nov 2008
Many people were wounded in Friday's attack

A bomb has killed at least six people at the funeral of a Shia Muslim in north-western Pakistan, police say.

The blast, in the town of Dera Ismail Khan, injured many more. The town has a history of violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

In violence elsewhere, a suicide bomber killed nine worshippers on Thursday night at a mosque in the tribal district of Bajaur.

The dead included the head of a local militia formed to fight the Taleban.

Mourning hymns

The bomb in Dera Ismail Khan exploded as Shia Muslims were burying a man murdered on Thursday. Before the funeral took place a Shia cleric was killed in the town.

Map Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan

"One of our men was martyred yesterday and one today. We were taking the coffin to the graveyard, reciting mourning hymns, when suddenly this blast happened," mourner Tauqir Zaidi told the Reuters news agency.

It is not clear how the bomb was triggered. Officials said it appeared to be another sectarian attack.

It provoked an outbreak of shooting near the hospital where the injured were taken for treatment.

Dera Ismail Khan lies in North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The province's police chief, Malik Naveed, told the BBC Urdu service that six people were confirmed dead but the death toll could rise.

The great majority of Pakistan's Muslims are Sunni. Shias form about 15%. Violence between the two communities dates back to the 1980s.

Further north, in district of Bajaur, there was more violence blamed on the Pakistan Taleban late on Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a mosque.

Among the dead was the head of a local militia formed to fight the Taleban.

The army has been encouraging the tribes to take on the militants in their areas and suspected Taleban insurgents have retaliated with attacks on tribal gatherings.

For some months the Pakistan military has waged a sustained campaign against Islamic militants in Bajaur that forced up to 300,000 people to flee their homes.

US ambassador summoned

The United States has been encouraging the Pakistan government to step up its fight against Islamist militants.

The rubble of a house hit by a US drone missile attack near Bannu. 19/11/08.
The rubble of a house hit by a US drone missile attack near Bannu

But at the same time relations have soured over America's growing use since August of unmanned drone aircraft to carry out missile attacks on targets across the border from Afghanistan.

On Thursday the US ambassador in Islamabad was summoned to receive a formal protest over a drone attack near the town of Bannu.

The Bannu attack was unusual in that it took place in NWFP, much deeper inside Pakistani territory than previous attacks.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific