News / Asia

8 Killed in Attack on Shi'ite Procession in Pakistan

Angry Shi'ite Muslims gather after setting on fire a market outside an Islamic seminary during clashes with Sunni Muslims in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Nov. 15, 2013.
Angry Shi'ite Muslims gather after setting on fire a market outside an Islamic seminary during clashes with Sunni Muslims in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Nov. 15, 2013.
Reuters
Eight people were killed when gunmen opened fire on a Shi'ite Muslim religious procession in Pakistan on Friday, hospital officials said, in what appeared to be the latest incident of spiralling sectarian violence.

More than 30 others were wounded in the attack, which began when the procession passed a Sunni seminary. Rock throwing quickly degenerated into gunfire, said staff at the district hospital headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi.

The Shi'ites were marking Muharram, an annual Shi'ite day of mourning to mark the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad. Many join long processions where they flagellate, beat or cut themselves to show their grief.

Rawalpindi is a few minutes' drive from the capital, Islamabad, and home to the headquarters of Pakistan's army.

Further details of the attack were difficult to ascertain since the government suspended mobile phone services in much of Pakistan during Muharram to try to foil suicide bombers.

Attacks on Pakistan's Shi'ites, who make up about a fifth of the 180 million population, have worsened in recent years.

Most of the attacks are the work of Sunni Muslim extremists, many of whom are affiliated with banned militant groups such as the Taliban or Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which wants to drive all Shi'ites out of Pakistan.

Hundreds of Shi'ites were killed in bombings and other attacks last year, including children gunned down on their way to school and doctors heading for work.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid