Four days after 89 people were killed in a deadly bomb attack in Quetta, a mass burial took place today for the Shia vicitms as mourners chanted anti-government slogans and demnded handing over of security of the restive southwestern city to the army.
The mass funeral in Quetta after days of nationwide protests was marred by an incident of firing involving security personnel and protesters.
Shia leaders yesterday called for the burial of those killed in the bomb attack on Saturday but Shia groups refused to end the protest with the bodies demanding the handing over of the security of the city to the army.
Following talks with the government early this morning, the Shia groups finally agreed to bury the dead.
As some 4,000 mourners gathered to bury the dead, some persons pelted stones at a deputy commissioner's car.
Both security forces and protesters then fired in the air though no one was injured, witnesses said.
Footage on television showed mourners running in panic during the firing at the Hazara graveyard.
The situation was brought under control by the local administration and security forces.
Earlier, several women lay in graves and refused to allow the burial of the dead, saying they wanted to continue a sit-in protest till the army was called out in Quetta.
Groups of Shia youths too staged demonstrations and pressured elders to continue the protest.
Some protesters blocked a nearby highway.
Hundreds of mourners, shouting anti-government slogans and beating their chests, had heated exchanges with Shia leaders who had agreed to end the sit-in protest that began on Sunday.
Abdul Qayyum Changezi, a senior Shia leader and representative of the Quetta Yakjehti Council, said the mass funeral began after the families of the victims gave their permission to bury the dead.
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