Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — A suicide bombing that killed at least 13 people in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Tuesday targeted Shiite Muslims, a Sunni militant group’s spokesman told CNN in claiming responsibility for the attack.
The blast occurred in front of a market and near a procession of Shiite mourners commemorating the 40th day of Ashura, which observes the death of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson.
Meanwhile, police in Karachi, another major Pakistani city, said one police officer was killed and five people were injured in an explosion. Authorities were investigating the cause.
In Lahore, at least 13 people were killed in the violence which conjured the sectarian violence that erupts in Pakistan from time to time. Shiite Muslims are a minority in Pakistan, a Sunni majority country.
Zahid Pervez, medical superintendent at a hospital in Lahore, told reporters that dead bodies, including one woman, were brought to the hospital. Police said at least four officers were killed. Pervez said 52 injured people were also brought to the hospital, and 15 of them were in critical condition.
Shakir Ullah Shakir, a spokesman for the Fedayeen-e-Islam, said his group targeted the procession and labeled the Shiites enemies of Islam.
The group is an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban and Laskhar-e Jangvi. Both Sunni militant groups are notorious for targeting Pakistan’s Shiites.
One of the senior leaders of Fedayeen-e Islam is Qari Hussein — widely believed to be the trainer of child suicide bombers for the Pakistani Taliban.
Nayab Haider, Lahore police spokesman, told CNN the suicide bomber was between 13 to 15 years old and that the boy tried to enter the procession carrying a bag.
Moments after police stopped him, the attacker blew himself up, Haider said.
Local TV reports showed footage of debris and rescue crews whisking away injured people.
Pakistani intelligence agencies had warned Shiite religious leaders in Pakistan’s major cities about the threat of attacks targeting events commemorating the holy day.