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Pakistani Shiites demand protection after suicide attack on Ashoura procession killed 18

  • Pakistani children injured in a bomb attack being treated at a local hospital in Jacobabad, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. A Pakistani police official says a suicide bomber has exploded himself in a Shiites mourners  procession in southwestern city,  killing several and injuring many others. (AP Photo/Amir Hussain)

    Pakistani children injured in a bomb attack being treated at a local hospital in Jacobabad, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. A Pakistani police official says a suicide bomber has exploded himself in a Shiites mourners procession in southwestern city, killing several and injuring many others. (AP Photo/Amir Hussain)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pakistani Shiite Muslims offer prayers during a Muharram rally ahead of Ashoura day, in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. Ashoura is a Shiite Muslim commemoration marking the death of Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

    Pakistani Shiite Muslims offer prayers during a Muharram rally ahead of Ashoura day, in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. Ashoura is a Shiite Muslim commemoration marking the death of Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)  (The Associated Press)

Pakistani Shiites are demanding protection after a suicide bomber targeted an Ashoura procession Friday night, killing at least 18 people and wounding 40 others.

Senior police officer Zafar Malik said Saturday that the bomber detonated his device during an Ashoura rally in Jacobabad, a city in the southern province of Sindh. He said mourners are preparing for mass funerals and that the government has protectively deployed extra troops to handle any "untoward situation."

Minority Shiite Muslims hold public rallies to mark Ashoura, a 10-day ritual that commemorates the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and an iconic Shiite martyr.

On Saturday, Shiite community leader Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi demanded protection and asked the government to take action against those who orchestrated Friday's bombing.