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Pakistan faces growing anger over sectarian bombings

Published on Feb 17, 2013 6:28 PM
 
People gather at the site of Saturday's bomb attack in a Shi'ite Muslim area in the Pakistani city of Quetta, on Feb 17, 2013. Pakistan's unpopular government, which is gearing up for elections expected within months, came under fire on Sunday for failing to improve security after a sectarian bombing in the city of Quetta killed 81 people. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

QUETTA, Pakistan (REUTERS) - Pakistan's unpopular government, which is gearing up for elections expected within months, came under fire on Sunday for failing to improve security after a sectarian bombing in the city of Quetta killed 81 people.

The nuclear-armed country's leaders have done little to contain hardline Sunni Muslim groups that have stepped up a campaign of bombings and assassinations of minority Shi'ites.

On Saturday, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), seen as the most ruthless Sunni sectarian group, claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta, which deepened suspicions among Shi'ites that Pakistan's intelligence agencies were turning a blind eye to the bloodshed or even supporting extremists.

"The terrorist attack on the Hazara Shi'ite community in Quetta is a failure of the intelligence and security forces," Mr Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, governor of Baluchistan province, said while touring a hospital.

 
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