Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Karachi shuts down to bury 45 bomb dead

04 March 2013, 11:33

Karachi - Pakistan's largest city Karachi shut down on Monday to mourn 45 people killed by a car bomb in a Shi'ite Muslim neighbourhood, the latest in a series of devastating attacks as Pakistan prepares for elections.

Traffic was thin as educational institutions, businesses and markets closed after the local government announced one day of mourning and Shi'ite groups three days of mourning for those killed in Sunday's bombing.

The bomb exploded as worshippers were coming out of mosques in the neighbourhood of Abbas Town, ripping through two apartment blocks and trapping people beneath piles of rubble.

Those who survived but whose homes were damaged or destroyed are being housed temporarily in schools, officials said.

Local transport and traders' associations said that they would not be working on Monday. "There will be no public transport on the roads today," said Karachi Transporters Association chief Irshad Bokhari.

Head of the Karachi Traders' Alliance, Attique Mir also said that shopping centres and malls as well as business activity would remain suspended.

Sectarian, ethnic, political violence

Karachi is vital to Pakistan's economy, contributing 42% of GDP, 70% of income tax revenue and 62% of sales tax revenue.

But the city is plagued by sectarian, ethnic and political violence that last year killed more than 2 200 people and which routinely forces closures, damaging businesses.

On Monday, the stock market was open, but Mohammad Sohail of brokerage firm Topline Securities said there were fewer dealers and trading volumes were low.

Officials said 45 people, including women and children, were killed and around 150 others wounded in the attack. Although Abbas Town is a mainly Shi'ite neighbourhood, officials said some Sunni Muslims were also among the dead.

Police are preparing a list of those killed and are trying to identify the dead with the help of their relatives.

Pakistan's parliament is due to dissolve in two weeks in preparation for elections, but rising violence against Shi'ites, who make up around 20% of the 180 million population, has raised serious questions about security.

Deadliest year

"The unfortunate reality is that things could take a turn for the worse as tensions increase ahead of the approaching general elections," newspaper The News wrote in an editorial on Monday.

"The risk of violence, especially in Karachi, is very real. With election preparations in full swing, the processions, meetings and rallies that accompany our electoral campaigns have the potential to lead to chaos," it added.

Last year was the deadliest year on record for Shi'ites in Pakistan with more than 400 killed, according to Human Rights Watch.

A bomb at a shrine visited by Shi'ites in Shikarpur district, around 400km northeast of Karachi, killed two people last Monday.

A day later the Supreme Court ordered the authorities to come up with a strategy to protect Shi'ites after bomb attacks on Shiite Hazaras in the southwest on 10 January and 16 February killed nearly 200 people.

Both attacks were claimed by banned extremist Sunni group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and have highlighted the government's inability to stem sectarian violence.

The Pakistani Taliban have also increased their campaign of violence in recent months, leading to fears that it could mar the election which is scheduled to take place by mid-May.

Last month the group proposed talks with Islamabad but the government insists the militants must declare a ceasefire before coming to the negotiating table - a condition militants have rejected.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...