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Islamic State Claims Bangladesh Attack

  • VOA News

People who sustained injuries in a series of blasts are surrounded by their relatives at a hospital in Dhaka, Oct. 24, 2015.

People who sustained injuries in a series of blasts are surrounded by their relatives at a hospital in Dhaka, Oct. 24, 2015.

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in Bangladesh that killed one person and wounded up to 100 at a Shi'ite Muslim religious procession in Dhaka.

The monitor group SITE said Saturday that the Islamic State has released a statement saying "soldiers" of the group in Bangladesh set off the explosions during what the statement called "polytheistic rituals."

Ashura festival

The attack took place Saturday while worshipers were gathered at the main Shi'ite Muslim shrine in the capital to mark the festival of Ashura, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

The attackers hurled bombs into a crowd of thousands gathered at the shrine of Huseni Dalan in the old part of the city. Three bombs exploded, killing an adolescent boy and injuring many other worshippers.

Police have arrested at least two suspects and recovered two bombs that are believed to have been thrown but failed to detonate.

Shi'ite Muslims are a minority in majority-Sunni Bangladesh, but attacks are rare.

Bombings in Pakistan

In neighboring Pakistan, however, there have been two bomb attacks in as many days on Shi'ite Muslims observing Ashura. At least 20 people were killed Friday in a suicide bombing on a procession in Jacobabad.

Ashura is a 10-day ritual of mourning commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

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