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Pakistan PM to convene leaders to discuss ways to combat terrorism

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Pakistani prime minister to call emergency security summit
  • 50 killed, more than 200 injured in Thursday bombings
  • Attack took place at a revered Sufi shrine

(CNN) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani will call for a meeting of political leaders of all stripes on ways to counter militant attacks, saying Saturday the country cannot afford the "brunt of terrorism."

With the country still reeling from the shock of Thursday's twin suicide bombings at a shrine, Gilani said he will convene an emergency security summit where he will consult with opposition members, including rival Nawaz Sharif, on a strategy against militancy.

Fifty people were killed and more than 200 injured Thursday night when a pair of suicide bombers detonated their explosive vests outside the Data Darbar, a famous Sufi shrine complex in Lahore. One of the bombs detonated in the shrine's courtyard, while the other exploded on the shrine's lower level, police said.

Pakistan's Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital, has been the scene of carnage in recent weeks, including a bloody attack on a hospital and another targeting Ahmadis.

On Friday, angry Pakistanis, some wielding guns for revenge, took to the streets of Lahore in protest. Growing weary of bloodshed in their homeland, many are troubled by its spread from the Afghan border areas to the heartland. They are also concerned that Muslims are attacking Islamic holy sites.

Sunni and Shiites do not consider the Ahmadis as a part of Islam because they do not regard Mohammed as the last prophet sent by God. As such, they have been targeted by Islamic extremists.

Thursday's attack was at a revered Sufi shrine. Sufism is an ancient, mystical form of Islam that is generally more tolerant.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan expressed alarm over the attacks and called on both the government and Muslim clerics to stand up to extremism.