Shias refuse to bury blast victims until security is tightened


About 1,000 Pakistani Shia Muslims are protesting in the southwest for a second day, blocking a main road with the bodies of relatives killed in a bombing to demand the government provide better security.

The bombings in Quetta on Thursday were the worst in a series of attacks across Pakistan that have killed 120 people. Most of the dead were Shias killed in twin bombings at a billiards hall. Sunni extremists are increasingly targeting members of the beleaguered minority sect.

Shias in Quetta laid about 50 of their dead out in the street yesterday, saying they would not bury them until the government improves security in the area. Young Shia men also set tyres on fire and blocked a road in protest. “We want safety for our all sects and all security measures should be taken for our safety,” said Fida Hussain, a relative of one of the victims. “We will not bury them until the government fulfils all our demands.”

The strike was the worst of three bombings targeting Shia and soldiers in Quetta, capital of the volatile Baluchistan province, and worshippers at a Sunni mosque in the north-west on the same day.

The billiards hall bombing started with a suicide attack, followed by a car bomb.