At least 20 killed during Shiite religious festival near Islamabad, from AP:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – A suicide bomber set off explosives Friday in the midst of Shiite Muslims reciting the Quran, killing at least 20 and wounding dozens gathered for a religious festival at a shrine near the capital.
The motive was not immediately clear, but there are frequent sectarian attacks in this Islamic country by extremist elements of the Sunni and minority Shiite sects.
An AP photographer at the scene counted at least 20 bodies, many in pieces. An intelligence official said at least 20 people were killed and 150 were wounded.
The bomb ripped through hundreds of worshippers as they were reciting from the Muslim holy book beneath tents at the Bari Imam shrine outside Islamabad.
“It was like hell,” said Syed Muktar Hussain Shah, 40, who had been waiting for a prominent Shiite leader, Hamid Moasvi, to address the gathering when the bomb went off. “I fell down … when I woke up I saw dead bodies around me.”
“None of the bodies was intact,” said Dr. Wahid Abbas, who helped treat the wounded. “Some had legs blown off, some had their hands blown off.”
He and other witnesses said police collected the head of a suspected suicide bomber. Authorities did not immediately confirm that information…
Shiite worshippers, weeping and moaning, beat their chests in grief. Some clashed with police after officers charged the crowd with their batons to clear the way for ambulances.
Many also chanted, “Down with America!”…
An update from Bloomberg News, “Islamabad Bombing Kills 50, Injures 200 at Shrine”
A suicide bombing at a Muslim shrine in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, today killed at least 50 people, according to an ambulance service called to the scene.
Another 200 people were injured by the blast inside the Bari Imam shrine in the east of the city, the ambulance service, the Edhi Welfare Trust Group, said in an e-mailed statement. The bomber was 20 to 25 years old, the organization said without providing further details. Police estimated that 19 were killed and more than 100 hurt, according to duty officer Naseer Khan.
The shrine is behind the home of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The bomb exploded at about 11:15 a.m. local time as hundreds of worshippers marked the anniversary of the death of Shah Abdul Latif, a spiritual leader buried there, Khan said in a telephone interview from Islamabad. There were no reports of casualties at Aziz’s house…