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Muharram procession hit by bomb blast in Pakistan

Despite efforts of authorities in Pakistan to prevent attacks on Shiite religious processions over the weekend, a bomb attack has been carried out. Four children were among those killed.

The roadside bomb attack on Saturday took place in the northwest city of Dera Ismail Khan. It came during ceremonies relating to the 10-day Shiite month of mourning, Muharram. At least seven people were killed and 17 others wounded. The bomb appeared to be detonated remotely.

Pakistan was on high alert over potential sectarian attacks on the minority Shiites during Muharram. Cell phone coverage had been suspented for the weekend in cities throughout the country in an effort to stop bombs from being remotely detonated by mobile phones. On Thursday, a suicide bomber targeted a Shiite procession and killed 23 people.

Hard-line Sunni Muslims in Pakistan, who regard Shiites as non-Muslims, have been known to target Shiites in the past during Muharram. A spokesperson for the Taliban told the AFP news agency that it was responsible for the attack.

Muharram marks the death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Imam Hussain, in 680. It culminates Sunday with Ashoura, the holiest day in the Sunni calendar.

mz/msh (AP, dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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