Pakistan's Shias agree to bury their dead

Hazara Shia Muslims in the Pakistani province of Balochistan have agreed to bury the dead from a bombing that killed 89 people, after the government promised to take action against the perpetrators of the weekend attack.

Shia leaders announced late on Tuesday that the funeral will begin at 9:00am local time (4:00GMT) on Wednesday.

They called on people to end the protests, but it has been met with resistance.

The leaders had agreed to call off the sit-ins earlier but protestors had refused to move until it was agreed that the army would start targeted operations against those responsible for the spate of killings.

Saturday's attack was the second bomb targeting the Shia Hazara minority in five weeks in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, which has seen more than 200 deaths, mostly Shias, in the last one month.

People rallied across the country in solidarity with the Hazara community with major cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad witnessing huge protests against the rising sectarian violence.

Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Quetta, said the Hazara community is "angry and defiant" and is demanding the Pakistani military to come to the provincial capital, and go after the mastermind of the attacks.

'More than 100 arrested'

Earlier in the day, the Pakistan information minister said that about 170 people had been arrested by the paramilitary Frontier Corps in an ongoing operation to catch the perpetrators.

Speaking in Quetta, Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the latest action was expected to make a big difference for security in the region.

Officials said that during the operation they had killed four men in connection with the latest attack.

Police said they had arrested a former provincial minister in connection with the recent deadly attacks in the province.

Rehman Malik, the interior minister, said the government had also replaced the provincial police chief and offered to heavily fortify the Hazara Shia enclave in Quetta.

Tuesday's operation to catch those behind the attacks was carried out on the outskirts of Quetta, where members of the ethnic Hazara minority have been living under siege .

Akbar Hussain Durrani, the home secretary of Balochistan province, and Colonel Maqbool Ahmed, from the Frontier Corps, said the killings and arrests took place during what they called an "ongoing operation".

"Those who were killed were high-profile targeted killers," Durrani said.

"They were involved in the killing of a Shia judge and senior police officers,"

One of the masterminds of Saturday's bombing in the Quetta suburb of Hazara Town, was among those in custody, Durrani added.

'Real security'

Intelligence and paramilitary officers also confiscated bomb-making material, weapons, suicide vests and ammunition during the operation, officials said.

Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Islamabad, said: "The coming days are going to be important."

"Real security is what the Shia community is demanding. So far, they've got this targeted operation, but will that be enough?"

A similar protest after 95 people were killed by suicide bombers at a Hazara snooker hall in Quetta on January 10 only ended after four days when Islamabad sacked the provincial government and imposed rule by the governor.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a banned armed group, claimed both the attacks in Quetta, a small town where the military and intelligence agencies have a heavy presence.

  • Lincoln MKX Concept lands in China, dreams of America 12 minutes ago
    Lincoln MKX Concept lands in China, dreams of America

    As important as China has become in the global auto industry, it's pull has been entirely that of a consumer rather than a builder. Chinese buyers now purchase more new vehicles a year than Americans, but there's not yet been a move by any major automaker to sell Americans mass-market vehicles made in China.

  • April 21: GM assembles its 100 millionth U.S.-built car on this date in 1967 1 hour 28 minutes ago
    April 21: GM assembles its 100 millionth U.S.-built car on this date in 1967

    Few companies ever reach the dominance that General Motors held on this date in 1967 when it marked the 100 millionth car it had built in the United States at the Janesville, Wis., plant. That year, GM employed some 740,000 people, and was not just the largest automaker in the world but the largest company period. Its market share of the U.S. auto industry was more than 50 percent. Today, the blue Chevy Caprice coupe resides in GM's museum in Flint, Mich.; and while GM still ranks among the world's largest automakers, 1967 was a peak of sorts. Had GM's profits kept pace with inflation since then, it would have made $13 billion last year instead of $3 billion — although its hard to top the year Chevy introduced the Camaro:

  • Monday #sgroundup: 19 Singaporean passengers hospitalised as Malaysia bus plunges into ravine 4 hours ago
    Monday #sgroundup: 19 Singaporean passengers hospitalised as Malaysia bus plunges into ravine

    Here are today’s top trending stories in case you missed them. 19 Singaporean passengers hospitalised as Malaysia bus plunges into ravine A passenger bus plunged into a ravine after leaving a Malaysian island resort, killing a British man and injuring … Continue reading →

  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines flight heading to India with 166 people aboard made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur early Monday after it was forced to turn back when a tire burst upon takeoff, the airline said.

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have claimed that a similar conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter occurred in October of 7 B.C. Still others have claimed that Jesus was born in the spring, based on stories about shepherds watching over their flocks in fields on the night of Jesus' birth — something they would have done in the spring, not the winter.