bomber struck a religious procession here Monday, killing at least 25 people in the latest attack on the minority Shiite Muslim community.
The bomber blew himself up before thousands of people process
ing through the city to mark the holy day of Ashura, police said.
in Pakistan's business center touched off mayhem, with hundreds of people scrambling for safety. Witnesses and police said the streets were littered with body parts.
The attack occurred despite heavy security. More than 10,000 police and paramilitary
troops had been deployed to prevent incidents on the day most holy to Shiites, who make up about 15% of Pakistan's population.
At least 25 people were killed in the blast and about 50 others wounded, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
Waseem Ahmed of the Karachi police said some children as young as eight years old were among the victims. There hasn't been any immediate claim of responsibility. Police say they suspect
Islamic militants were behind the bombing.
Monday's procession was commemorating the seventh-century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. Shiites mourn
the death every year on the tenth day of the Islamic holy month of Muharram.
s erupted after the blast as protesters set fire to dozens of vehicles and buildings and attacked police. Intermittent gunfire also was reported as the rampage
spread to other parts of the city.
Mustafa Kamal, Karachi's mayor, said the attack was part of an attempt to disturb
the peace in the country's commercial and financial hub. Until recently, the city had been relatively peaceful, although militant violence has been spilling over from the northwest region to many cities.
Monday's blast was Karachi's second attack in 24 hours on a Shiite religious gathering. Late Sunday, about 30 people were wounded in a smaller explosion at a Shiite procession
in a middle-class neighborhood.