People in the Pakistani port city of Karachi have stopped working to take part in the public mourning for the victims of a recent attack on Shia Muslims in the country.
Over 45 people were killed and 150 others wounded in a car bomb attack carried out in a Shia neighborhood of Karachi on Sunday. The local government has announced one day of mourning. Shia groups have also called for three days of mourning for the victims. Educational institutions, businesses and markets in Karachi are closed on Monday. Human Rights Watch says more than 400 Shias were killed in Pakistan in 2012, which was the deadliest year on record for the Pakistani Shia Muslim community. On February 16, a bomb attack targeting Shia Muslims in the main bazaar of the southwestern city of Quetta killed at least 90 people, including women and children, and injured more than 200 others. Also on January 10, a twin bomb attack at a crowded billiard hall in Quetta, which is the capital of Balochistan Province, killed more than 90 people, mostly Shia Muslims. In recent months, Pakistani people have been protesting in the streets against a rise in Shia killings. Shias make up about 20 percent of Pakistan’s population of over 180 million.