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    RAWALPINDI MOSQUE BLAST PERPETRATED BY SUICIDE BOMBER

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    ISLAMABAD, February 29 (RIA Novosti corr. Vladimir Shreter) - A suicide bomber died and four Islam believers were wounded yesterday night when an explosion thundered inside a Shiite mosque in the Pakistani town of Rawalpindi (Islamabad's satellite town).

    The Pakistani mass media quote eyewitnesses as saying that the terrorist blew up a device fixed on his chest during the prayer, when the parishioners were face downwards in a bow. The suicide bomber is known to have had an accomplice who gave an order to set off the explosion and left the mosque a minute before the tragedy.

    The guard of mosques in Islamabad and Rawalpindi has been reinforced, the streets are being patrolled. All those entering mosques are searched.

    From February 22, the month of mukharram started in Pakistan (the first month of 1425 according to the Moslem lunar calendar), during which interreligious clashes between Sunnis and Shiites often aggravate. In this period, Shiites organize mourning processions in commemoration of the death in Iraq in the 7th century of Hussein, specially honored third Shiite imam (626-680), son of faithful khalifa Ali and grandson of prophet Mohammed in a clash with soldiers of the rivaling dynasty of Arab khalifas Omeyads who had ruled in Damascus in 661-750. Shiites make pilgrimages to the supposed burial site of Hussein in Kerbela (on Iraqi territory).

    Shiites don't recognize Sunni khalifas, believing the legal successors of Mohammed and Islam interpreters are Alids, the dynasty of 12 imams (Ali and his direct descendants from the marriage with Fatima, Mohammed's daughter).

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