Protest shuts down Pakistan's Lahor over shrine bombing

Shops and business centres were shut in the eastern city of Lahore to protest against suicide bombings.

Protest shuts down Pakistan's Lahor over shrine bombing

 

 

Shops and business centres were shut in the eastern city of Lahore on Saturday to protest against suicide bombings.

At least 42 people were killed and 175 wounded when two suicide bombers struck Pakistan's most important Sufi shrine on Thursday night, the second major attack on Pakistan's cultural hub and traditional seat of power, Punjab, in a month.

All major markets and business centres were closed in Lahore for the strike called by a religious alliance.

A mob of baton-wielding protesters forced people who did not join the protest action to close their shops at a major market area. Police detained around 10 protesters after they smashed windows of parked cars. No one was hurt, police said.

Emotions are running high among followers of the Sufi strand of Islam after the attack.

Major markets in the southern city of Karachi were also closed in response to the strike call.

Angry protests were held in Lahore and several cities and towns across the country on Friday.

"We want the government to immediately bring perpetrators of this crime to task. We will not end our protest until culprits are punished," Raghib Naeemi, a leading Sufi cleric, told Reuters.

Security was beefed up at Sufi shrines across the country as the government sought to project an image of stability in the face of mounting violence.

Pakistanis, already frustrated by a troubled economy and crippling power cuts, called for the resignation of Punjab government officials after the bloodshed. Lahore is the capital of Punjab province.

Police said they had rounded up several suspected fighters around Lahore and recovered 20 suicide vests, police uniforms and and large amounts of ammunition on Friday night.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Temmuz 2010, 14:42
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