Rights Group Warns of Worsening Pakistani Sectarian Violence
Violence against Pakistani Shi’ite Muslims is rising and some communities are living in a state of siege, a human rights group said on Friday, warning that sectarian violence will only get worse a day after 114 people were killed in bombings.
Most of the deaths were caused by twin attacks aimed at members of the Muslim Shi’ite sect in the southwestern city of Quetta, near the Afghan border.
“Last year was the bloodiest year for Shias in living memory,” said Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch. “More than 400 were killed and if yesterday’s attack is any indication, it’s just going to get worse.”
A suicide bomber first targeted a snooker club in Quetta. A car bomb blew up nearby 10 minutes later after police and rescuers had arrived.
In all, 82 people were killed and 121 wounded. Nine police and 20 rescue workers were among the dead.
“It was like doomsday. Bodies were lying everywhere,” said police officer Mir Zubair Mehmood.