Death toll rises to 50 in IS-claimed shrine blast

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

The death toll from a bomb blast at a Sufi shrine in south­west Pak­istan on Satur­day has risen to 50 peo­ple, with more than 100 wounded, of­fi­cials said.

The Is­lamic State group later claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the sui­cide at­tack at the shrine of Sufi saint Shah Bi­lal Noorani in the south­west­ern prov­ince of Baluchis­tan.

Ab­dur Ra­sool, an of­fi­cial at the prov­ince’s home min­istry, said res­cuers were trans­port­ing the wounded to hos­pi­tals and the dead to local morgues but were strug­gling in the dif­fi­cult moun­tain­ous ter­rain.

The blast tar­geted wor­ship­pers as they were in the throes of their de­vo­tional “dhamal” dance, and the court­yard at the time was packed with fam­i­lies.

The Is­lamic State group’s state­ment on the IS-af­fil­i­ated Aa­maq news agency said the sui­cide at­tack had tar­geted “Shi­ites.” The shrine is fre­quented by both Pak­istan’s Sunni Mus­lim ma­jor­ity and Shi­ite mi­nor­ity. IS con­sid­ers all Shi­ite Mus­lims heretics.

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