One killed, 80 wounded in Shi'ite attack

  • 24/10/2015
One killed, 80 wounded in Shi'ite attack

One person is dead and nearly 80 have been wounded in a bomb attack outside the main Shi'ite site in Dhaka as thousands gather for the annual Ashura procession.

Police say it's believed to be first time Bangladesh's tiny Shi'ite Muslim community has been targeted and follows just weeks after an Italian aid worker and a Japanese farmer were shot dead in attacks claimed by Islamic State group.

Officers said a 14-year-old boy died on the spot after three small bombs were thrown outside the Hossaini Dalan, the main Shi'ite site in the old Mughal quarter of Dhaka, about 2am on Saturday.

"There were some 20,000 people in and outside the building at that time," deputy commissioner of Dhaka Police Mofiz Uddin Ahmed said.

"They were preparing to hold the annual Muharram mourning procession when the three bombs were exploded outside the Hossaini Dalan."

Local police chief Azizul Haq said at least one person was killed and around 80 injured.

"We've recovered two unexploded bombs. These are like explosive devices and almost like grenades and with batteries," Haq said.

Police inspector Mozammel Hoque told news agency AFP most of the injured were hit by splinters.

Local television station Somoy TV showed live footage of people running helter skelter moments after the blasts.

Many including girls were seen being taken to hospital by ambulance.

The holy month of Muharram sees Shi'ites hold processions and gatherings to mourn the martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson Imam Hussain at the Battle of Karbala in Iraq in 680 AD, reaching a climax on the day of Ashura.