KFC Burned During Riot In Pakistan

Pakistani poor boys search useful items from the rubble as a police van parked outside the damaged Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant in Karachi Pakistan Tuesday, May 31, 2005. Police on Tuesday recovered bodies of six employees of a KFC restaurant that was set on fire by a mob angry over a suicide attack at a Shiite mosque in Karachi, raising the overall death toll in the violence to 11, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil) AP

Six people were killed when a KFC restaurant was set on fire by a mob angry about a suicide attack on a Shiite mosque in Karachi, bringing the overall death toll to 11, police said Tuesday.

The fast-food chicken restaurant was targeted in overnight rioting after Monday's attack on the Madinatul Ilm Imambargah mosque, where three assailants clashed with police before exploding a bomb in violence that killed two attackers, two policemen and one worshipper and wounded 26 others.

Four of the victims at the restaurant were burned to death, while the two others died after taking refuge in a refrigeration unit, senior police official Manzoor Mughal said. The six bodies were recovered Tuesday, bringing the overall death toll in the southern port city of Karachi to 11, he said.

Sunni Muslim extremists were suspected in the mosque attack, and it was unclear why KFC was targeted in retaliatory rioting, along with arson attacks on vehicles, shops, three bank branches and three gas stations.

However, the restaurant is heavily associated with the U.S. and rioters in Pakistan typically attack symbols of Washington while on a rampage. Anti-U.S. feeling grew in Pakistan after President Gen. Pervez Musharraf allied the country with Washington in the war on terror after Sept. 11, 2001.

Also Tuesday, dozens of Shiite Muslims tried to attack KFC after the funeral of a man also a Shiite who died in Monday's bombing in Karachi but police baton charged and detained 30 of them, said Athar Rashid, a police official. He said some other Shiites fled after a brief clash with the police, but before fleeing they set fire to a car.

Rauf Siddiqi, home minister of Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, condemned the suicide bombing at the mosque and said security had been put on "high alert."

One of the three men involved in the mosque attack was hospitalized with injuries, police said.

He said his name was Mohammed Jamil and that he was from the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group, which is accused of orchestrating several attacks against minority Christians, Shiites and government officials, police said on condition of anonymity.
  • Christine Lagorio

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