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Suicide Attack on Shi’ites Kills 20 in Pakistan

Pakistani children injured in a suicide attack are being treated at a local hospital in Jacobabad, Pakistan, Oct. 23, 2015.

At least 20 people were killed and 40 injured when a suicide bomber attacked a Shi’ite Muslim mourning procession in the southern Pakistani city of Jacobabad Friday night, police officials said.

Jacobabad, Pakistan
Jacobabad, Pakistan

The attack came as minority Shi'ite Muslims marked Ashura, a 10-day ritual when they commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Shi'ite Muslims hold public rallies despite threats from Sunni extremist groups, some of whom consider them to be heretics.

The blast was the second to hit Ashura festivities in two days and came hours after a radical Sunni Muslim group threatened continued sectarian violence during the holiday.

Security is usually tight around Shi'ite worship places and their mourning processions during Ashura.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion fell on Sunni extremists who have been blamed for previous attacks. The sectarian rivalry has claimed thousands of lives in recent years.