A bomb attack on a Shia Muslim gathering has killed at least three people and severely injured 23 others in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi. The powerful bomb explosion happened near the Jamia Masjid Imambargah Mustafa at Abul Hassan Isphahani Road area on Sunday evening, daily Dawn newspaper reported. The injured have been shifted to a nearby hospital. Sources say the death toll is expected to rise as some of the wounded are in a critical condition. Violence has surged against Shia Muslims in different parts of Pakistan in recent months. Since the beginning of 2012, hundreds of shias have been killed in various parts of the militancy-wracked country. Pakistan's pro-Taliban militants have launched a violent campaign against Shia Muslims over the past years. According to local sources, militants affiliated to Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorist groups have killed thousands of Shia Muslims in the region since the start of the campaign. The country’s Shia leaders have called on the government to form a judicial commission to investigate the bloodshed.
The killing of Shias in Pakistan has sparked international outrage, with rights groups and regional countries expressing concern over the ongoing carnage. Still, those behind the violence are rarely caught or punished.Human Rights Watch issued a statement in September asking the Pakistani government to “urgently act” to protect the Shia Muslims in Pakistan. Moreover, thousands of people have also lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the US in the so-called war on terror. In addition, thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country. JR/JR