Karachi, Feb 16: A devastating explosion, claimed by the Islamic State, ripped through a Sufi shrine in Sehwan town of Pakistan’s Sindh province on Thursday, killing at least 72 people, including 12 women and four children, and injuring over 250 others.
Assistant Superintendent of Police in Sehwan said a suicide bomber entered the Lal Shehbaz Qalandar shrine through its Golden Gate. The attacker blew himself up after throwing a grenade, which failed to explode, he said.
The explosion took place at the spot where the “Dhamaal” Sufi ritual was being performed within the premises of the shrine.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the group’s affiliated news agency AMAQ reported.
There were conflicting reports about casualties in the blast. Taluka Hospital Medical Superintendent Moinuddin Siddiqui said 72 bodies and scores of injured were brought to the hospital.
A stampede followed the blast as a large number of devotee, including women and children, were present in the shrine.
Contingents of police reached the shrine that is situated slightly off the Super Highway in Dadu district of Sindh. Hundreds of people gather at the Sufi saint’s shrine every Thursday for religious rituals. An emergency has been declared in all hospitals of the area, with the injured being shifted to Liaquat Medical Complex Jamshoro and the sub–district hospital. (IANS)