Islamabad: At least 10 people were killed and over 20 others injured in a suicide bombing at a Muharram procession in Pakistan's northern city of Rawalpindi Wednesday night, media reports said.

The blast took place around 11.40 p.m. when the procession by Shia Muslims was passing through Misrial road area of the city; an agency reported citing state run PTV channel. Geo News said the suicide bomber entered into the Muharram procession near the Qasr Shabbir Imambargah in Dhok Sayidan area of the city, and detonated the explosives strapped to his body.

There were an estimated 1,500 people, including women and children, in the procession. Several vehicles and nearby houses were damaged in the blast. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Witnesses said there was inadequate security during the procession, giving a chance to the bomber to sneak in without being checked by police. The injured include traffic wardens who were on duty near the blast site. The blast occurred just hours after twin bombings near an Imambargah in Karachi killed two people and left 16 others wounded.

Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, during which Shia Muslims gather every night in a shrine to commemorate the death of Hussian Ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, who was killed in a war with anti-Islam elements 1,300 years ago.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Pervez Ashraf have condemned the blast, and directed medical officials to provide the best treatment to the injured.


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