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Shia mosque bombed in Pakistan

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On Friday a bomb near a mosque and community center in the city of Rawalpindi in northern Pakistan killed eight people and 16 others. The blast outside of the Aun Mohammad Rizvi mosque and community center was the result of a suicide bomber who detonated themselves outside of the gate of the complex. This attack occurred as many Shia from the surrounding community gathered to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.

Thereek-e-Taliban Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, which is a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack according to Al-Jazeera. Pakistani security forces have stated that they do have a few suspects in custody in connection with this attack. The Aun Mohammad Rizvi mosque and community center is named after Aun Mohammed Rizvi who was a prominent Shia in the area that was murdered by militants in October 1999. Hafiz Nawaz, who was arrested and convicted for the murder of Rizvi, was the nephew of Riaz Basra who was the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi which is another militia in Pakistan that is responsible for the deaths of numerous Shia in recent years. Riaz Basra was arrested and convicted in connection with the murder of Iranian diplomat Sadiq Ganji and also was believed to be responsible for an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1999. Pakistani authorities are currently investigating a possible connection between the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Sharif and this current bombing in Rawalpindi.

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