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Shia leader calls for army deployment in Quetta after terror attack

QUETTA: A prominent Shia leader said that Quetta blast victims will not be buried until army comes into the city.”I ask the army chief: What have you done with these extra three years you got (in office). What did you give us except more death,” Maulana Amin Shaheedi, who heads a national council of Shi'ite...

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 11, 2013 | Last Updated: 8 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jan 11, 2013 | Last Updated: 8 years ago
Shia leader calls for army deployment in Quetta after terror attack

QUETTA: A prominent Shia leader said that Quetta blast victims will not be buried until army comes into the city.”I ask the army chief: What have you done with these extra three years you got (in office). What did you give us except more death,” Maulana Amin Shaheedi, who heads a national council of Shi'ite organisations, told a news conference.Most of Thursday's deaths were caused by twin attacks aimed Shi'ites in the southwestern city of Quetta, near the Afghan border, where members of the minority have long accused the state of turning a blind eye to militant death squads.Shi'ite leaders were so outraged at the latest bloodshed that they called for the military to take control of Quetta to shield them and said they would not allow the 82 victims of twin bomb attacks to be buried until their demands were met.The burials had been scheduled to take place after Friday prayers but the bodies would remain in place until Shi'ites had received promises of protection.Shaheedi said scores of bodies were still lying on a road. “They will not be buried until the army comes into Quetta,” he said.Violence against Pakistani Shi'ite Muslims is rising and some communities are living in a state of siege, a human rights group said on Friday.”Last year was the bloodiest year for Shias in living memory,” said Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch.”More than 400 were killed and if yesterday's attack is any indication, its just going to get worse.” A suicide bomber first targeted a snooker club in Quetta. A car bomb blew up nearby 10 minutes later after police and rescuers had arrived.In all, 82 people were killed and 121 wounded. Nine police and 20 rescue workers were among the dead. “It was like doomsday. Bodies were lying everywhere,” said police officer Mir Zubair Mehmood.The banned Sunni group Lashkar-e-Jangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for the attack in a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood where the residents are ethnic Hazaras, Shi'ites who first migrated from Afghanistan in the nineteenth century.While U.S. intelligence agencies have focused on al Qaeda and the Taliban, Pakistani intelligence officials say LeJ is emerging as a graver threat to Pakistan.It has stepped up attacks against Shi'ites across the country but has zeroed in on members of the sect who live in resource-rich Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is capital. AGENCIES

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