At least 18 people were killed and 67 were wounded today when an explosion, possibly set off by a suicide bomber, ripped through a crowd at a Muslim shrine on the outskirts of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/06/24/31020.html ' target=_blank>Islamabad, officials and rescue workers said.
People mourned the death of relatives following a bomb blast at a Muslim shrine on the outskirts of Islamabad.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blast, but Pakistani officials suspected it might be the work of sectarian militants. Such attacks are frequent by extremists of the Sunni and Shiite Muslim sects.
President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/04/09/27445.html ' target=_blank>Pervez Musharraf urged the nation to unite against the extremists.
"We must show moderation and I appeal to all Pakistanis to rise against those who spread hatred," Mr. Musharraf said.
Tensions between the Shiite and Sunni Muslim sects are not high, but violence between the extremists groups from both sides has left hundreds dead in recent years. Shiites make up about 20 percent of Pakistan`s population; Sunnis 77 percent.
The bomb exploded at the shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi, a 17th-century Sufi saint famous for his teachings of religious harmony and goodwill. It is visited by Muslims of both sects.
Today concluded a five-day festival attended by thousands of people from across the country that marks the anniversary of the saint`s death, reports the New York Times.