At least 72 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bomb attack on a shrine in Pakistan, according to police. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“At least 72 are dead and over 150 have been injured,” Senior police officer Shabbir Sethar told Reuters, adding that the death toll is likely to rise.
The suicide bomber entered the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in the city of Sehwan Sharif through its golden gate, according to local authorities cited by Dawn news outlet.
— Geo English (@geonews_english) February 16, 2017
The explosion took place at the spot where a ritual known as dhamaal was being performed.
“The blast occurred within the premises of the shrine. We have declared emergency in hospitals and are shifting the injured to nearby hospitals,” Deputy Commissioner Munawar Mahesar told ARY News.
IS has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the group’s affiliated news agency, AMAQ, as cited by Reuters.
Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has condemned the violence.
The shrine is built around a tomb of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a Sufi poet and philosopher. Large crowds gather at the shrine every Thursday to participate in dhamaal and prayers. Full Report