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Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:9PM
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has expressed condolences over the deaths of scores of Pakistanis in a recent bomb attack carried out in southwestern Pakistan. Salehi sent a message to his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on Sunday, offering condolences over the attack, which left more than 80 people dead and injured many others. The Iranian foreign minister called on the government, religious figures, and the Pakistani people to take measures necessary to stop bloodshed of Muslims in the country. He also noted that such a massacre is part of the divisive policies of the enemies of Islam. The attack took place in a crowded vegetable market in the town of Hazara, on the outskirts of Quetta in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, on Saturday. The area is mostly inhabited by Shia Muslims. According to the latest reports, 84 people were killed in the attack and around 200 others were wounded. On January 10, nearly 130 people were killed and many others injured in a wave of deadly bomb attacks targeting both Pakistani security guards and civilians in Quetta. Following the incident, massive protests broke out across the country to denounce the violence against Shia Muslims, with protesters accusing the Pakistani government of failing to take enough action to prevent terror attacks on the Shia community. Shias make up 20 percent of the country's 180-million-strong population. Since the beginning of 2012, hundreds of Shias have been killed in Pakistan. The attacks have targeted many doctors, engineers, high-ranking government officials, teachers, and politicians. NT/HN
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