Pakistan Shiites bury dead as govt vow to get culprits

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Updated 26 February 2013
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Pakistan Shiites bury dead as govt vow to get culprits

QUETTA, Pakistan: Mass burials for 89 victims of a bomb attack targeting Shiite Muslims in Pakistan began Wednesday after three days of nationwide protests at the government’s failure to tackle sectarian violence.
Tensions were running high as up to 4,000 mourners gathered to bury the dead in the southwestern city of Quetta, and some pelted a government official’s car with stones, prompting security forces and then protesters to fire into the air.
No-one was hurt in the incident.
The bomb on Saturday in an area of Quetta dominated by ethnic Hazara Shiites was the second major attack on the minority community in five weeks and prompted protesters to pour onto the streets across the country, shutting down parts of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
Around 1,000 of the mourners, shouting anti-government slogans and beating their chests, quarrelled with their leaders for agreeing to end their sit-in protest, which began on Sunday, and demanded Quetta be handed over to the army.
An angry mob of young people and women, crying and screaming, initially refused to bury the dead but agreed after assurances from their community heads, an AFP reporter said.
“You can see that the burial has been started and the protest sit-in is over,” Sardar Saadat Ali, one of the community leader told AFP in the Hazara community graveyard.
Shiite leaders agreed to end the protest after meeting government ministers, who promised a “targeted operation” to catch those responsible for Saturday’s atrocity.
Soldiers from the paramilitary Frontier Corps and police were deployed in all markets and on roads in Quetta city as the burials took place, while troops searched every vehicle heading toward the Hazara town area.
Shiites, who make up around 20 percent of the mostly Sunni Muslim population of 180 million, are facing record numbers of attacks, raising serious questions about security as nuclear-armed Pakistan prepares to hold elections by mid-May.
Outlawed militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) has claimed responsibility for the Quetta attacks and Shiites are furious that authorities have done nothing to prosecute those responsible.


Trump says North Korea summit could be delayed

Updated 35 min 17 sec ago
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Trump says North Korea summit could be delayed

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said Tuesday a planned summit with Kim Jong Un may not take place next month as planned, despite his belief that the North Korean leader is “serious” about denuclearization.
“It may not work out for June 12,” Trump said, being characteristically coy about the prospects for the historic meeting in Singapore.
“If it does not happen, maybe it will happen later,” Trump said, as he began talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House.
But Trump added that he does believe the North Korean leader is willing to give up nukes, amid fears about apparent North Korean backpedaling.
“I do think he is serious. I think he is absolutely very serious,” Trump said, again raising the prospect of a windfall for Kim if he mothballs weapons programs.
“He will be extremely happy” Trump said of Kim, if the deal works out. “He will be very happy.” President later added that he believed this could be due to a change in attitude after the North Korean leader had a second meeting with the Chinese premier Xi Jinping.