At least 30 people were killed and over 100 others injured when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up inside the shrine of revered Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan town in Pakistan’s Sindh province, the fifth deadly terror attack in the country within a week.
The blast took place during Dhamal a Sufi ritual – when hundreds of devotees were present inside the premises of the vast mausoleum of the saint, police said.
Citing Taluka Hospital Medical Superintendent Moinuddin Siddiqui, Dawn reported that at least 30 bodies and more than 100 injured were brought to the hospital.
An emergency has been declared in the hospitals of the area. The area is located far from any hospital, with the nearest medical complex located 40 to 50 kilometres from the site of the blast.
Devotees gather at the shrine of the revered Sufi saint every Thursday to participate in a dhamaal and prayers.
Initial report suggests that it was a suicide bombing on portion reserved for women in the shrine, the Dawn reported, quoting SSP Jamshoro Tariq Wilayat.
“It seems to be a suicide bombing according to initial information provided by Sehwan police to me and I am on way to Shewan,” Wilayat said.
Rescue officials said due to the non availability of adequate ambulances at the shrine the toll could rise.
“Ambulances have been rushed from Hyderabad and other close by places like Nawabshah, Moro, Dadu,” Wilayat said.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah ordered immediate rescue operation and government announced emergency in the hospitals of the nearby Jamshooro and Hyderabad districts.
Television channels reported that dead bodies and injured were lying inside the shrine.
Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was a Sufi philosopher-poet of present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The attack on shrine came a day after Pakistan vowed to “liquidate” all those elements posing a threat to peace and security in the country amid a spurt in terror attacks.
The decision was taken at high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday to review the security situation in the country.
“The meeting made a resolve that terrorism emanating within the country or executed and harboured from outside the country would be eliminated and those posing threat to peace and security of the country would be liquidated by the might of the state,” according to an official statement.
Terrorists have carried out attacks in Lahore, Mohmand agency, Peshawar and Quetta within a week.