Pakistani troops deploy in Karachi as violence continues - 13 April, 2006 - News

Pakistani troops deployed Thursday to the streets of Karachi to curb rioting and vandalism that flared in this southern city for a third day following a suicide bombing that killed 57 people at a Sunni Muslim prayer service.

The deployments, the first here since Shiite-Sunni unrest in the early 1990s, took place hours before mass funerals were expected for three leaders of the moderate Sunni Tehrik group who were among those killed in Tuesday's attack, one of Pakistan's deadliest ever.

"We are deploying troops in the city at sensitive places and if needed the troops will help the civil administration in maintenance of peace and order," said Col. Idrees Malik, a Pakistan army spokesman in Karachi.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz flew to Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, and met with Sunni leaders and security officials in a bid to calm seething tensions and restore security.

"All measures are being taken to maintain peace and order in the city and investigations are ongoing (to find the bomb planners) by federal and provincial agencies and we are progressing," Aziz told reporters. "As soon as we get concrete results we will let the nation know."

A police investigator said that a Shiite Muslim man wounded in the bombing has been moved from his hospital into police custody at a secret location for questioning over the bombing.

The man was not being treated as a suspect, but police were quizzing him about why he attended Tuesday's Sunni gathering, said the investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Police searched for a second man who accompanied the Shiite to the service, reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team