Second bomb hits Pakistan city

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - Two bombs exploded in Pakistan's largest city Friday, one outside a hospital treating victims from the earlier attack on Shiite Muslim worshippers. At least 22 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

Police appealed for calm following the strikes in Karachi, which took place within two hours of each other.

The chaotic city of 16 million people has a history of religious violence and has been tense in recent weeks due to deadly clashes between rival political parties. In late December, a bomb killed 44 Shiites attending a procession in the city, sparking riots.

The first blast targeted a bus carrying worshippers, most of them women and children, killing 12 and wounding 49, officials said. The bomb was attached to a motorcycle and detonated as the bus drove to a Shiite procession, witnesses said.

The second bomb exploded outside the entrance to the emergency ward at Jinnah Hospital, which was packed with victims and relatives of those killed and wounded in the earlier attack. Government spokesman Jamil Soomro said 10 people were killed and several others were wounded.

Shiites were also attacked in Iraq on Friday - the Arbaeen holy day that marks the end of 40 days of mourning after the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, a revered Shiite figure.

A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb alongside a crowd of Shiite pilgrims walking to a holy city south of Baghdad, killing at least 27 people and wounding 70, Iraqi police officials said. It was the third deadly bombing this week hitting a major religious ceremony in which hundreds of thousands of Shiites have been converging on the holy city of Karbala, where Imam Hussein was killed in battle in 632.

In Karachi, Ashfaq Ali survived the bus attack, but lost two sons. He sat on the floor near a pool of blood.

"I will keep sitting here because it is my sons' blood," he said, half-wailing. "I want the terrorists to kill me as well."

Pakistan's Sunnis and Shiites generally live in peace, but extremists from the two sects have targeted one another's leaders and worshippers. Al-Qaida and the Taliban are Sunni extremist groups and also despise Shiites, believing them to be infidels.

Most of the attacks in Pakistan by al-Qaida and the Taliban in recent months have been against government, security forces or Western targets. But analysts say their followers also take part in attacks on Shiites.

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