Bomb kills religious leader in Pakistan

Last updated 18:40 04/08/2014

Relevant offers

Middle East

Russia denies missiles landed in Iran as Syrian clashes intensify Syrian government forces extend major offensive to retake territory in west Saudi-led airstrikes kill at least 13 at wedding in Yemen Serious problems at Taji military base in Iraq - US report Saudi woman may be jailed after filming her husband groping the family maid US apologises for Afghan hospital bombing John Key's drama filled Iraq visit included potential security breach Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei bans negotiations with the US Russia fires missiles from warships as Syrian government opens ground offensive United Nations launches Kickstarter campaign to help Syrian refugees

A bomb killed a Pakistani religious leader and two of his guards during a celebration at a northwestern shrine on Monday, police said, as officers prepared for a militant backlash over a continuing military operation.

Pakistan launched a military offensive in June to seize control of the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan, a remote mountainous region on the border with Afghanistan.

The United States had long urged Pakistan to move against militant hideouts there, saying the area was used to prepare attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Recent weeks have been quiet as Muslims observed the holy month of Ramadan by fasting during the day. But police have said they expect attacks to increase after Ramadan ended last week.

Monday's bomb attack took place as a crowd of thousands gathered at a Sufi shrine near the city of Dera Ismail Khan where the religious leader, Faqir Jamshed, was presiding at a function.

The attack killed Jamshed and his guards, said Zahoor Khan, police chief in the restive area.

"We foresee such types of incidents will increase after Ramadan," said Sadiq Balochi, the district police officer for Dera Ismail Khan.

"We are ready for any such thing. We are in close coordination with the army and all intelligence agencies. Joint patrolling has been enhanced."

Last week, soldiers were deployed to guard key installations in Islamabad, the capital. Security at airports has also been beefed up following a deadly attack on the airport in the southern city of Karachi days before the operation began.

Police patrols have also been stepped up and hundreds of suspected militants arrested around the country, authorities say.

Sufism, a mystical and tolerant form of Islam that emphasises a direct link with god, is coming under increasing attack from hardline Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan.

The Taliban are fighting to impose a hardline Sunni state ruled by strict Islamic law.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content