DHAKA:�At least one person was killed and nearly 90 wounded in a rare pre-dawn bomb attack on a Shia procession in Bangladesh's capital today as thousands from the minority community gathered for the annual Ashura.
The first attack on the Shias in the Sunni-dominated Bangladesh, which has witnessed an increase in violence this year claimed by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.�Police and witnesses said three bombs were hurled at the procession joined by more than 20,000 people at around 1:30 AM at Huseni Dalan, an important 17th century centre of learning for the Shia community. "One of the bombs directly hit a boy of around 12 and he visibly died instantly," �police official said.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but a suspect has been detained near the blast site, police said.�Doctors at two-major state-run hospitals said most of the wounded were now out of danger. Panic and chaos gripped the crowd when the bombs exploded with people running to their safety through the narrow lanes of old Dhaka, further compounding their injuries.
The blasts came just weeks after an Italian aid worker and a Japanese farmer were shot dead in attacks claimed by the IS, amid political instability. �The attacks come as Shiites around the world mark the holy month of Moharram. Ashura marks the climax of the holy month of Muharram when Shias gather to mourn the martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson Imam Hussain.
Bangladesh's police chief AKM Shahidul Haque, however, downplayed IS involvement or any international links, saying the attack was likely staged to destabilise the government. Dhaka's Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said,"It does not appear to be an attack carried out by Islamists but it is a planned sabotage."