In the eastern city of Sialkot, Pakistan, a suicide bomber has killed at least 25 people gathered at a mosque to pray. More than 40 people were
wounded. All in all the toll could have been much worse as the crowd at the mosque was over 1000. The blast left a crater more than 2 feet deep and
local police indicated that there was a lot of carnage.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least 18 people in a mosque packed with worshippers and wounded more than 40 during Friday prayers
in the eastern Pakistani city of Sialkot, police said.
More than 1,000 people from Pakistan's Shi'ite Muslim minority were in the Zainabya mosque at the time of the blast, police said.
"It was a suicide attack," Nisar Ahmed Saroya, district police officer for Sialkot, told Reuters. "It was a massive explosion which was heard
several miles around.
"Fourteen people were killed on the spot and four died at hospital," Saroya said from Sialkot, some 100 miles southeast of Islamabad on the border
with India and near the city of Lahore.
The explosion created a crater more than 60 cm (2 feet) deep, said private GEO Television channel.
Police said bodies were blown to pieces.
"The floor of the mosque is strewn with blood and human flesh," Saroya said.
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The mosque represented the minority Shiite population, and protests quickly ensued. Investigation attemps were hampered by the protests. The angry
mob set fire to a gas station and torched two police cars. As of yet, no group has claimed responsibility, but Sunni extremist groups have been blamed
for a series of attacks elsewhere in Pakistan. There is a belief that some of these groups have ties to Osama bin Laden.
[edit on 1-10-2004 by FredT]