Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pakistan bombing relates to Iraq

At least 45 people were reported killed and an unknown number were injured after a bombing of a Sunni Muslim gathering near Karachi, Pakistan.

The blast follows one in February that targeted Shi'a worshippers and killed 40.

Pakistan is similar to Iraq in that both countries have deep divisions between Sunni and Shi'a followers.

Shi'ites compose about 23 percent of the population of Pakistan and are a majority in Iraq making up 60 percent of the populace.

The two groups regularly target each other's religious sanctuaries and events in both countries.

In Iraq, this religious division threatens to prevent any near-term stabilization of the government. With Iran, the world's largest Shi'a nation in between Iraq and Pakistan, the situation is even more volatile.

Ironically, after overthrowing the relatively secular Saddam Hussein, a Baath socialist, Iraq is now in danger of falling into the hands of truly sectarian Shi'ite forces.

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