Death toll in Pak Sufi shrine attack rises to 22

Katrina Barker
October 7, 2017

Several million Pakistani Muslims reportedly follow the Sufi branch of Islam, whose shrines have been repeatedly targeted by extremists.

"Such blind and cowardly attacks are aimed at creating insecurity in Pakistan and fomenting discord and religious conflicts".

A suicide bomber struck a Shiite shrine packed with worshippers in a remote village in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing 20 people and leaving at least 25 wounded, a provincial government spokesman and the police said. "Awareness and unity are required to fight terrorism and eradicate violence in Pakistan", he said.

Local government official Ahmed Aziz Tarrar said 16 people were killed and over 30 wounded in the blast.

Given critical conditions facing the injured, it is likely the number of casualties to be increased.

Al Jazeera reports at least 35 people were killed when the same shrine was attacked in 2005.

The Islamic State Khorasan Province - the Middle Eastern group's affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan - has since released a statement claiming the attack, according to the US-based monitoring group SITE.

Rescue officials fear the death toll could rise as the blast occured when the shrine was witnessing a heavy rush of devotees on Thursday, when devotees gather at the shrine of the revered Sufi saint to participate in a Sufi dance called dhamal and prayers.

The attack, which came as the latest sectarian attack in troubled Baluchistan province, is also the second major attack at a shrine in Balochistan in a year.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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