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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid