Pakistan Sehwan shrine blast: All you need to know about the terror attack

Pakistan: The bombing in Sehwan comes in the wake of a slew of attacks in Pakistan this week, claimed by radical Islamic forces.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 17, 2017 2:56 pm
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At least 75 people are reported dead, and more than 200 injured after a bomb ripped through the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan on Thursday evening. The explosion took place after evening prayers — Thursday holds spiritual significance in Pakistan’s shrine culture — in the area where the dhamaal (a Sufi ritual) was being performed. Assistant Superintendent of Police in Sehwan said the bomb was triggered by a suicide bomber, who entered the shrine through its Golden gate. He blew himself up after throwing a grenade, which failed to explode, he added. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq propaganda website. The death toll is likely to rise.

WATCH | Blast Near Sindh’s Lal Qalandar Sufi Shrine In Pakistan Kills Atleast 75 People

Security has been beefed up across the province, especially at shrines, following the attack. An initial probe conducted by a bomb disposal squad confirmed a suicide bomber, carrying explosives of at least eight kilograms, triggered the bomb. Nut-bolts were used in the bomb along with the dynamite, they added. The suicide bomber covered the explosives by wearing a Burka, reports Geo News. According to eye witnesses, the explosion caused panic inside the shrine, leading to a stampede.

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Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) Hyderabad Khadim Hussain told Al Jazeera that at least 75 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in the attack.

Following the attack, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa addressed the situation on social media, directing the Army, Navy and Air Force to conduct evacuation and relief measures. Blaming “hostile powers” in Afghanistan, the Pakistan-Afghanisatan Border was closed with immediate effect due to security reasons.

On behalf of the Army Chief, DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted:

 

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RELIEF OPERATIONS

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, whose constituency includes Sehwan, admitted that the nearest medical facility is located 40 to 50 kilemetres from the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine. Speaking to the media, he said, “Eight ambulances reached the site of the incident. Residents of Sehwan shifted the injured in their motorcycles and car.” He said around 70 people have been admitted to the hospitals. “The nation will bring the terrorists to their ultimate fate,” Shah added.

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The Sindh government declared a three-day mourning for the victims.

WHAT NAWAZ SHARIF SAID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called the incident an “attack one on Pakistan’s future”. He said, “The past few days have been hard, and my heart is with the victims. But we can’t let these events divide us, or scare us. We must stand united in this struggle for the Pakistani identity, and universal humanity.”

“Sufi saints played a major role in the foundation of Pakistan,” Sharif said. “This is an attack on Pakistan’s future.”

ATTACKS THROUGH THE WEEK

Thursday’s bombing comes in the wake of a slew of attacks in Pakistan this week, claimed by radical Islamic forces. 13 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Lahore on Monday. Two policemen were killed in Quetta on Tuesday while trying to defuse a bomb. At least seven were killed on Wednesday in two separate bombings, one in Mohmand and the other in Peshawar. And three troops including an Army captain were martyred in Awaran early Thursday, after their convoy was targetted with a bomb.

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