Blast kills at least 26 outside Pakistani courtroom
Sunni Muslim leader among the dead
January 18, 1997
Web posted at: 7:45 a.m. EST (1245 GMT)
LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- A bomb exploded outside a
courthouse in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, killing at least 26
people, including a militant Sunni Muslim leader.
Lahore police said no one has claimed responsibility for the
blast that left over 50 people injured.
The bomb was hidden in a motorcycle parked outside the
Sessions Court, and it detonated as Ziaur Rehman Farooqi,
leader of the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) group, arrived
for a court appearance.
Farooqi and his deputy, Maulana Azam Tariq, were on their way
to trial on charges related to the murders of rival Shiite
Muslim leaders. Farooqi died in the hospital after the blast,
and Tariq was seriously wounded.
Eyewitnesses said more than 100 people were outside the
courtroom at the time of the explosion, and most of the
casualties were policemen, journalists, lawyers or SSP
Animosities between militant Sunnis and Shiites claimed over
40 lives last year in Pakistan, where Shiites make up about
15 percent of the predominately Sunni population.
At least 3 Shiite activists have been killed in recent weeks
-- two in separate incidents on December 31 and another on
Reuters contributed to this report.
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