Pakistan govt. tries to placate Shia protesters following Quetta blasts

Islamabad, Jan. 13 (ANI): Pakistani officials are holding crisis talks with Shia protesters in Quetta, who are demanding protection after bomb blasts killed nearly 100 persons.

The talks come as the minority Shia community have refused to bury the dead, barricading a road with coffins of the victims for a second day, reports the BBC.

Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi said it carried out the deadliest of Thursday's attacks killing at least 85. The militants have previously targeted the area's Hazara Shia.

Two federal ministers and the governor Balochistan province are negotiating with the protesters in the regional capital to try to defuse the row. However, no breakthrough has been reported so far.

The demonstrators are continuing to block the road close to the snooker hall, which was the target of the deadliest attacks. Laid out in between them are the shrouded bodies of about 50 victims of the bombing.

Most of the dead were from Quetta's 500,000-strong Hazara Shia.

The president of the Shia Conference, Syed Dawood Agha, said his community would not bury its dead till the army had given an assurance it would take administrative control of the city.

The refusal to bury the dead is an extreme protest in Islamic society, where people are normally buried the same day they die.

Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi admitted that the authorities "have no right to rule" after the attacks - on one of the deadliest days of bombings in Pakistan in recent years.

Three days of mourning have been announced in Balochistan. (ANI)


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