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Bomb blast kills three at shrine
Crowds had gathered for Eid festivalThe metal perimeter wall of the shrine was blown several meters away
- ucanews.com reporter, Nowshera
- October 29, 2012
The shrine houses the grave of Kasteer Gul, a revered saint of the Sufi faith, which is a branch of Islam.Â The blast took place in the midst of celebrations for Â Eid ul Adha, a national holiday and major festival in the Islamic calendar.
Bloodstains have now been cleaned away from the entrance where the bomb exploded. The metal sheet which served as the shrineâ€™s boundary wall landed among the graves, after flying four meters in the air.
â€śThere was panic after the explosion. The shrine was filled with smoke and when it cleared, I saw three mutilated bodies outside,â€ť said Obaid Gul, the cleric.
â€śHundreds used to gather here annually for the Eid fair. Our celebrations have ended.â€ť
While local traders have called a strike, the president and prime minister have strongly condemned the blast and directed authorities to provide the injured with the best available medical care.
The bomb was detonated by remote control, despite a suspension of cellular services on the first day of Eid in several cities. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the terrorists used an illegal SIM to trigger the blast.
â€śIllegal SIMS have become now a dangerous weaponâ€ť, the minister said in a tweet.
Father Amir Yaqub, assistant parish priest of the local Holy Name Church, condemned the Eid attack. â€śThe militants cannot justify jihad by killing worshippers; this is inhuman. People usually avoid gathering in public places due to fear, but they expected peace on religious holidays."
He added: â€śI cannot wear my cassock during pastoral visits. I instruct a family member to guard my car while I pray at [peopleâ€™s] homes, for fear of terrorists.â€ť
Nowshera is the main city in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. This incident comes a week after the chief minister of the province escaped a remote controlled explosion near his motorcade.
Local Â Taliban groups, waging an anti-literacy campaign, have damaged several schools in the area.
Hazara Shia Muslims mourn their dead