At least 19 people, including five women and a child, were injured when a ‘home-made’ bomb planted in a car exploded in a populated area here during a procession by the minority Shia community.

The blast took place on Saturday near a graveyard in Paposh Nagar area just two days ahead of the 10th day of Muharram processions.

A senior police official told PTI that initial inquiry showed that the bomb was a home-made device and planted in the car which was gutted after the explosion.

“It apparently was an attempt to target Shia Muslims as a Muharram procession was due to pass from the area where the explosion took place,” police official Raja Umar Khattab said.

A policemen and two paramilitary Pakistan Rangers personnel were also injured by the blast.

Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram which falls on December 28, is an important mourning ritual for Shia Muslims, and has been the flash-point for deadly attacks by militant groups in recent years. Tight security arrangements have been made ahead of the occasion, the official said.

Mr. Khattab said it looked as if the bomb was a remote - controlled device.

Another police official said the injured had been shifted to MS Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.

Although the Pakistani Taliban have launched several suicide bomb attacks in other parts of the country, Karachi, the business hub of Pakistan had earlier remained relatively calm and safe from terrorist activities.

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