|GUNMEN KILL AT LEAST 14 (16) MUSLIM WORSHIPPERS IN PAKISTAN
||Two relatives sit in a Mosque where at least 16 Shiite Muslims
were killed by unknown gunmen.
January 4, 1999
MULTAN, Pakistan --
Wounded Shiite Muslim worshippers
crawled to loudspeakers to plead for
help after gunmen sprayed bullets
into a mosque as they prayed
Monday, leaving at least 14 people
Police said the shooting began after four men arrived
at the mosque in a car.
Initial reports said two of them randomly fired at the
congregation of Shiites
in Karam Dad Qureshi, a village about 35 kilometers
(20 miles) east of
Multan in Punjab province.
The official news agency APP put the death toll at 16,
with 25 wounded, but
police said they had confirmation of 14 deaths.
No one claimed responsibility for the killings.
However, police said they
suspected rival majority Sunni Muslim militants
carried out the attack.
One injured worshipper, Tareen Bux, said the attack
came from behind.
"We all were praying when bullets started hitting us
from the back," he said
at a hospital. "I was hit by bullets and then I fell
unconscious. . . I don't what
Witnesses said neighbors rushed to the mosque,
grabbing small children and
old men, cradling the dead and comforting the wounded.
Dozens of people were killed in similar sectarian
attacks in the province last
year (Mominpura Massacre ). Sunni groups accuse predominantly Shiite Iran of
Shiite militants, while Shiites accuse Sunni Saudi
Arabia of aiding Sunni