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Bomb blast kills three at shrine

Crowds had gathered for Eid festival

The metal perimeter wall of the shrine was blown several meters away The metal perimeter wall of the shrine was blown several meters away
  • ucanews.com reporter, Nowshera
  • Pakistan
  • October 29, 2012
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At least three people died and more than 20 were injured when a bomb was detonated at the Kaka Sahib shrine on the outskirts of Nowshera city yesterday. Local reports say the toll could rise as a large number of women and children were in the shrine and surrounding area.

The shrine houses the grave of Kasteer Gul, a revered saint of the Sufi faith, which is a branch of Islam. The blast took place in the midst of celebrations for  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 shrine’s boundary wall landed among the graves, after flying four meters in the air.

“There was panic after the explosion. The shrine was filled with smoke and when it cleared, I saw three mutilated bodies outside,” said Obaid Gul, the cleric.

“Hundreds used to gather here annually for the Eid fair. Our celebrations have ended.”

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.

“Illegal SIMS have become now a dangerous weapon”, the minister said in a tweet.

Father Amir Yaqub, assistant parish priest of the local Holy Name Church, condemned the Eid attack. “The 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: “I cannot wear my cassock during pastoral visits. I instruct a family member to guard my car while I pray at [people’s] homes, for fear of terrorists.”

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  Taliban groups, waging an anti-literacy campaign, have damaged several schools in the area.

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