At least 70 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a suicide attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan in Pakistan on Thursday evening. Several TV news reported death toll at 100.
The bomber blew himself up among devotees in the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan, in Sindh province, police said.
Deputy Commissioner Jamshoro Munawar Maheesar confirmed the death of 57 people and added more than 100 were injured in the attack. The dead include four children and 12 women.
The Assistant Superintendent of Police in Sehwan said a suicide bomber entered the shrine through its Golden gate. The attacker blew himself up after throwing a grenade, which failed to explode, he added.
The explosion took place in the area where the dhamaal (a Sufi ritual) was being performed after evening prayers.
A large number of devotees, from different faiths and from across the country, frequent the shrine on Thursdays — a day of spiritual significance in Pakistan’s shrine culture.
Security for shrines was tightened across the province following the attack.
Pak Army chief vows revenge for attacks on Shrine
Moments after a devastating bombing at Lal Shahbaz Qalander shrine in Sehwan, Sindh, the Pakistan military issued a strongly worded statement to “hostile powers”, saying it will respond to such attacks.
In a short message posted to Twitter, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said, “Recent terrorist acts are being executed on directions from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We shall defend and respond.”