Pakistan Blast Seen as Payback for Red Mosque Raid
Sunday’s explosion near Islamabad’s Melody Market is believed to be retaliation for last summer’s official crackdown on the nearby Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) mosque and seminary, according to Pakistan’s Daily Times. Nineteen people, most of them policemen, were killed in the blast. More than 100 people died last July in the Red Mosque attack.
On Monday, a series of six blasts rocked the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, causing chaos in the port city’s residential and commercial areas and putting police throughout the country on high alert.
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A suicide bomber on Sunday killed 19 people in an attack targeting policemen deployed at a rally observing the first year anniversary of an army raid on the capital’s Lal Masjid.
Dozens of dead and injured policemen lay on the ground in pools of blood after the blast — which occurred at 7.50pm at Melody Market, about one-and-a-half kilometres from the Lal Masjid — their blue uniforms ripped to shreds by the force of the explosion, an AFP photographer at the scene said. “The whole event at the mosque went smoothly but then the suicide bomber targeted the security,” Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik told reporters at the scene of the latest apparent revenge attack for the storming of the building. He said it was not a security lapse, as the blast occurred after the culmination of the rally. Of the 19 dead, 15 have been identified as policemen. According to AFP, the blast targeted a group of over 50 policemen and over 20 cops were wounded in addition to the dead.
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