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

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Agency didn’t expect such big demand for needle clean-up kits

The Snohomish Health District ran out of supplies quickly, but more are arriving daily.

EvCC teachers take their contract concerns to the board

Their union says negotiations have been disappointingly slow. The community college isn’t commenting.

Here’s what to do if you want to vote and aren’t registered

Oct. 30 is the deadline for new-voter registration in time for the November election.

Two teens struck by truck in Lynnwood

The teens, between the ages of 14 and 16, were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Luring attempt reported in Mountlake Terrace

The driver allegedly instructed a boy to get in the truck and help grab a scooter he was giving away.

Injured hiker rescued near Granite Falls

Woman fell and hit her head on a rock Saturday, and her condition worsened overnight.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Most Read