Karachi: Amid tight security, Pakistan’s Shia Ismaili Muslims today buried the bus attack victims who were killed by ISIS militants in the volatile Karachi city, the first assault by the dreaded terror outfit in the region. Hundreds of people attended the funeral prayers of the 43 victims who were laid to rest at the Sakhi Hasan graveyard of the city, police said.
Moving scenes were witnessed as relatives of the victims were overwhelmed with grief. A large number of representatives of political parties also attended the funeral prayers. The funeral of one victim took place last evening. Pakistan today observed as national day mourning to express solidarity with the minority Ismaili community and the national flag is flying at half-mast. Kalashnikov-wielding ISIS militants donning police uniforms yesterday killed 45 people, shooting them in the head, the latest in a series of cold-blooded sectarian violence targetting the minority Shia community.
A blood-stained pamphlet of terrorist group Islamic State was recovered from the scene. Later, the group claimed responsibility for the grisly attack. Meanwhile, the post-mortem report suggested that about 16 victims were killed with a single bullet in the head. Some victims had mark of violence on the faces. Sharp edge weapons were also used in the attack. Police has launched investigation and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeek Memon said that key leads were found about the attackers.
Soon after the attack Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rushed to Karachi where he held a high-level meeting and reportedly expressed his displeasure at police for failing to curb violence in the city. Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif cancelled his planned three-day visit to Sri Lanka and rushed to Karachi to be briefed his military commanders over the attack. Ismaili community is a branch of Shia Muslims and they are known for their progressive Islamic views. This was the worst attack targeting the members of the minority community after a suicide bomber in January blew himself up in a Shia mosque in Shikarpur in the Sindh province killing 61 worshippers and bystanders.