At least 40 people were killed and dozens more wounded in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Friday by a suicide bomber targeting a procession marking the birthday of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed.
Officials said a second suicide attack by two men at a mosque hundreds of kilometres north in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province led to a roof collapse that killed four people.
While the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday is accepted by the majority of Islamic sects in Pakistan, certain denominations view it as an unwarranted innovation.
Every year, mosques and government buildings are elaborately illuminated with strings of lights, and people march in processions to mark the Prophet’s birthday.
On the same occasion in April 2006, a suicide bomber killed at least 50 people in the port city of Karachi after detonating a device at a gathering of Sunni Muslims.