| A car burns after Shia mourners went on a rampage in Karachi. (Reuters)
Karachi, Oct. 4 (Reuters): Pakistani police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of angry Shia mourners who went on a rampage in the southern city of Karachi today, a day after six Shias were killed in an attack on a bus.
“We will avenge the killings,” shouted the crowd of about 1,000 mourners during a funeral procession for one of the six people killed in yesterday’s attack.
Two or three gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire with automatic weapons on a bus carrying Shias to a mosque for main Friday prayers, killing five on the spot.
A sixth man died in hospital. Eight people were wounded.
No group claimed responsibility but police blame Sunni militants for most of the sectarian bloodletting in Pakistan.
Today, young men and boys burnt tyres to block a main road and side lanes in Karachi’s central district, threw stones at cars and motorcycles and damaged police vehicles, a police post and petrol stations.
Witnesses said some of the protesters suffered minor injuries in scuffles with police, who struggled to control the crowd. Police said they had detained at least eight people. “The situation is now under control,” city police chief Tariq Jamil said.
The Pakistani military said it had dismantled a suspected “terrorist training camp” involved in sectarian violence in the country.
Military spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan said the suspected militant training camp was being run in remote Diamir district in the North West Frontier Province.
“The camp was being used to impart training to terrorists for terrorist activities inside the country... for sectarian killings,” he said.
He added that there had neither been any casualties nor any arrests in the “search operation”. Most of the dead and wounded in yesterday’s attack in Karachi were employees of Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Commission, using a company bus.
Warning that Pakistan faced more of an internal threat than from external forces, President Pervez Musharraf said the country may be “pulled down” by religious extremists.
He vowed to prevent such a danger by stepping up raids on militants. “There is no external threat which can do any harm to us. We are capable of handling any external threat. The enemy lies within and this element of religious and sectarianism may pull us down,” Musharraf said.