Pakistani PM, religious leaders call for calmness after Karachi attacks

By NNN-Xinhua,

Islamabad : Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and religious leaders on Friday condemned the two attacks in the port city of Karachi and asked the people to remain calm.

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Police said 22 Shiite Muslims were killed and over 50 others injured in the twin blasts within two hours on Friday.

Shiite leaders, while making appeal for calmness, announced three-day mourning to remember those killed in the blasts.

Gilani said calmness in Karachi will help investigation agencies and security forces to perform their duties and reach out to arrest the culprits.

He appealed to all the political forces to play their role in maintaining peace. The Prime Minister also deplored the loss of innocent lives.

He said that such incidents of violence to disrupt the social fabric of our society could not succeed since the government and the people are committed to fighting terrorism at all costs.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Police said that a bomber rammed his explosive-packed motorcycle into a bus carrying Shiite Muslims at M.A. Jinnah road locality, leaving 12 people dead. The Shiite pilgrims, mostly women and children, were traveling in the bus to join main religious procession.

Another bomb blast occurred near the gate of emergency ward of Jinnah hospital where the injured of the first blast were being treated, police said.

Karachi is the country’s commercial center with a population of 18 million people.

It is the second time that Shiite Muslims have been targeted in Karachi in less than two months. On Dec. 28 last year, a bomb blast killed 47 Shiite Muslims in Karachi.