SEHWAN: At least 70 people were killed and 150 others were injured as a bomb ripped through the crowded Sufi shrine of ‘Lal Shehbaz Qalandar’ on Thursday.
“So far 70 people have been killed and more than 150 wounded,” Inspector General of Police for Sindh province A.D. Khawaja told AFP. “Many wounded people are in critical condition and they will be shifted to Karachi as soon as Navy helicopters and C-130 plane reach nearest airport.”
“We fear that casualties might increase,” senior local government official Munawar Ali Mahesar said, adding the emergency services were trying to rescue the wounded.
Senior police officer Rashad Hayat said the attacker detonated his suicide jacket when hundreds of worshippers were performing their weekly mystical dance called Dhamal at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, named after the famous Sufi saint buried there.
According to Reuters, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency.
Local government official Munawar Ali also confirmed that attack and said their priority was to quickly transport the victims of the suicide attack.
The military says it is dispatching troops teams have reached blast site.
According to DG ISPR, Army and Rangers contingents have moved to the spot along with medical support. Combine Military Hospital (CMH) Hyderabad has completed all arrangements and is ready for the treatment of the injured.
PAF C-130 plane assigned to lift injured from Nawab Shah airport has started evacuation, while Chief of Naval Staff placed all Naval Hospitals at Karachi on high alert and ready to receive injured through night capable helicopters.
PM Nawaz condemns the attack
President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif have expressed sorrow and grief over the blast in Sehwan Sharif .
He said such type of incidents cannot divide the nation.
Terming it an attack on Pakistan’s integrity, PM Nawaz vowed to protect the nation at all costs against such menace.