01/18/2008, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Peshawar: a 15-year-old boy blows himself up in a Shiite mosque

by Qaiser Felix
The boy struck the grand Shiite mosque of Mirza Qasim Ali Imambargah: 10 are dead, and 24 wounded. One year ago, an identical attack killed the head of the city's police. Pakistan risks falling into an intra-Muslim feud.

Peshawar (AsiaNews) - A 15-year-old Sunni boy blew himself up last night in the grand Shiite mosque of Mirza Qasim Ali Imambargah in Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province. The attack killed 10 persons; at least 24 others were wounded. One year ago, another attack near the same mosque claimed several victims, including the head of the municipal police.

No letup, then, in the sectarian violence that has shaken Pakistan since last September, when the anti-Musharraf protest erupted. Some analysts note that the religious nature of these new attacks must be emphasized. The government is aware of this change in the situation, and has provided for heavy military security during the Islamic month of Muharram, when Shiites throughout the country hold processions.

The Shiite minority in Pakistan, in fact, is at the present time in ritual mourning for the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, nephew of Mohammed, and sectarian violence erupts frequently. According to Ghulam Ali, governor of the region, yesterday's attack "could be part of a conspiracy to spread hatred and to pit Muslims against Muslims".

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