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Homeland Security

Pakistan Suspends Cell Phone Services

RIA Novosti

06:27 24/11/2012

MOSCOW, November 24 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistan will suspend mobile phone networks in big cities to prevent attacks against Shia Muslims during key commemorations this weekend, British media reported on Friday.

Attacks by hard-line Sunnis on minority Shia have become more frequent in recent months across Pakistan. The BBC quoted Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik as saying over 90 percent of bombs are detonated by attackers using cell phones.

Mobile phone services were blocked in some districts of the capital Islamabad and in two other cities on Friday, and the authorities said more regions would be left without mobile communication on Saturday and Sunday - the climax of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Twenty-three people died in this week’s deadliest attack at a Shia procession in the city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad, according to the BBC.

Muharram commemorates the anniversary of the battle where the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson was killed.

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