Riots Erupt After Dozens Killed in Pakistan
Suicide bomber targets Shiite religious procession
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2009 2:19 AM CST
Pakistani Shiite Muslims mourn the deaths of people killed by a suicide bomber who detonated his explosives at the start of a religious procession in Karachi yesterday.   (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
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(Newser) – Rioting Shiite Muslims set fire to buildings and dozens of vehicles in Karachi last night after a suicide attack on a religious procession killed at least 40 people. The attack was the third on the city's Shiite minority in three days, and many believe extremists are trying to spark sectarian conflict to hinder the government's campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, reports the New York Times.

"A deliberate attempt seems to be afoot by the extremists to turn the fight against militants into a sectarian clash and make the people fight against one another," President Asif Ali Zardari said in a statement. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but authorities suspect it was the work of one of several Sunni extremist groups that have joined forces with the Taliban to destabilize the country.