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Suicide bomber kills 10 in Pakistan mosque blast

Ten people have been killed and 17 others injured after a suspected suicide bomb attack in Pakistan as hundreds left a mosque after Eid prayers.

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(Antler)

Ten people have been killed and 17 others injured after a suspected suicide bomb attack in Pakistan as people left Eid morning prayers marking the start of the Islamic holiday.

Authorities said the blast from a car bomb occurred Wednesday in the southwestern city of Quetta, as hundreds of people were leaving a Shi'ite mosque, Voice of America reports.

The attack came as people in predominantly Muslim Pakistan celebrated Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Voice of America reports:

Police said they believe the bomber was targeting the Shi'ite mosque, but could not get close enough because the road was blocked.

Officials said the victims include at least two women and a child. The explosion also damaged several other cars and at least one nearby building.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, which is home to both Taliban militants and nationalists who have fought against the government for decades.

Pakistan also has a long history of sectarian violence between the country's majority Sunni-Muslims and the significant Shi'ite minority.

"According to initial information it appears to be a suspected suicide car bombing but we are investigating," a top police official, Hamid Shakeel, told Reuters.

Another police official, Ayaz Haider, said it was a sectarian attack and occurred in an area mostly inhabited by the Shi'ite Hazara community.

The majority of Pakistanis are Sunni Muslims, with Shi'ites accounting for between 15 percent and 20 percent of a population of about 180 million.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/110831/pakistan-suicide-bomber-kills-10-ramadan-mosque