Gunmen kill 8 at religious gathering in Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan — Gunmen threw grenades at a Sufi Islamic religious gathering Sunday in the port city of Karachi and then opened fire on the people assembled to offer prayers, killing eight, officials said.

Eight more people were wounded in the attack, said Aftab Chanur, an official at the hospital who gave the death toll.

The four gunmen on motorcycles first lobbed grenades at the building where a Sufi cleric was receiving his followers, then raked it with automatic fire, said police official Javed Odho. He said women and children were among the dead and wounded.

Pakistan is 95 percent Muslim, and the majority practice Sufi-influenced Islam.

But their shrines and followers have come under attack in Pakistan by Sunni Muslim militants who don’t consider them to be true Muslims.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack. But suspicion is likely to fall on militants such as the Pakistani Taliban or their affiliated sectarian groups who follow a strict interpretation of Islam that considers many other Muslims such as Sufis or minority Shiites to be heretics. In recent years militants have often targeted shrines, which they consider to be sacrilegious.

In January, militants killed six people at the shrine of a Sufi saint in Karachi. After that attack, militants also threatened the cleric who was targeted Sunday, telling him he should close down the house of worship where he would receive his followers, said Odho, the police official.

Karachi is a fast-growing city in southern Pakistan with an estimated 18 million residents that has often been plagued by political, religious and sectarian violence.

More in Local News

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital accepting adolescent patients

The facility is the first mental heallth unit in the county to offer in-patient services for children.

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Pay a toll on U.S. 2 trestle? 10,000 say no on social media

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one way.

Teen murder suspect captured — then escapes and is recaptured

The 16-year-old is one of at least three young suspects in the shooting death of an Everett woman.

Most Read