At least 52 killed, 100 injured in blast at Shah Noorani’s Shrine in Pakistan

The blast occurred in the remote Hub region in Lasbela district where devotees were attending a Sufi dance called "dhamaal" at Dargah Shah Noorani shrine.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 13, 2016 1:59 am
blast, pakistan blast, blast in pakistan, Shah Noorani's Shrine, Shah Noorani's Shrine blast, pakistan news, explosion, terrorist atack, latest news Balochistan Interior Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed the blast. (Dawn News)

At least 52 people, including women and children, were killed and more than 100 injured in a suicide attack carried out by a 14-year-old boy at a popular sufi shrine in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Saturday. The blast occurred in the remote Hub region in Lasbela district where devotees were attending a Sufi dance called “dhamaal” at Dargah Shah Noorani shrine. Balochistan Interior Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed the blast which happened when about 500 to 600 devotees were present at shrine.

Bugti said it was a remote area and it would be quite a task to retrieve the dead and injured when already darkness engulfed the region. Meanwhile, the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack via Amaq news agency.

Tehsildar Javed Iqbal said security arrangements at the Shah Noorani shrine were not properly arranged. “It is sad that although thousands of devotees from Karachi and other parts of the country visit the shrine everyday but there are no medical emergencies or ambulances at the site,” he said.

“The shrine is located some 250 kilometres from Karachi in the remote mountains of Uthal and our vehicles have been dispatched there to carry out rescue operations and shift the injured to the hospitals,” said Hakeen Lassi, an official of the Edhi Trust Foundation.

Rescue teams had reached the blast site and started shifting the deceased and injured to the hospital. However, rescuers were facing difficulty in accessing the site as the shrine is located in a remote area. The death toll is feared to rise with women and children casualties in the deadly blast.

He said the devotees take part in the ‘dhamaal’ everyday after sunset and the blast took place close to where they were dancing in a trance inside the compound of the shrine.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have strongly condemned the bomb blast. They directed the concerned authorities to speed up the rescue activities and provide best medical facilities to the injured.Political leaders including Imran Khan and Maryam Nawaz Sharif also expressed grief over the killing of people in the blast.

This is not the first time that extremists have targeted a shrine in Balochistan. This is the third major incident of a bomb going off in the province since August. In August about 70 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack outside the civil hospital in the provincial capital Quetta. Last month, 64 police cadets and two army men were killed when three terrorists raided a police training centre in Quetta.

(With inputs from PTI)