Pakistan Condems Killing of Its Pilgrims in Iraq

Pakistan on Saturday condemned the reported killing of 11 of its citizens in Iraq, and urged all Pakistanis intending to travel there to postpone their visits.

The Pakistani reaction came hours after Iraqi police said some robbers ambushed a vehicle on Friday carrying Pakistani and Indian Shiite Muslim pilgrims on their way to the Shiite holy city of Karbala, killing 13 of them.

The slain pilgrims consisted of five women and six men from Pakistan and two Indians, police said.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry confirmed the incident, but didn't say how many Pakistanis had been killed.

CountryWatch: Iraq

Pakistan's envoy to Jordan has been asked "to establish contact with the Iraqi authorities to ascertain the number of Pakistanis killed in the terrorist attack," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The security situation in Iraq remains difficult. We advise Pakistanis intending to travel to Iraq to postpone their visit and those who are already there to take necessary precautionary measures," it said.

A large number of Shiite pilgrims from many Muslim countries, including Pakistan, are expected in Karbala on Sept. 9 to observe Shaaban, a mid-month religious celebration.