Bombing kills scores of faithful inside shrine
1 KARACHI, PAKISTAN >> An Islamic State suicide bomber struck inside a famed shrine in southern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 75 people in the deadliest attack in the country in more than two years.
The bomber entered the main hall of the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan and detonated his payload amid dozens of worshippers, according to three security officials, who said at least 20 women and nine children were among the dead.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. Fazal Palejo, a senior health official in Sindh province, confirmed the toll. The Islamic State group claimed the attack in a statement circulated by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted a “Shiite gathering.” The Sunni extremist group views Shiites as apostates and has targeted Pakistan’s Shiite minority in the past. It views Sufi shrines like the one targeted Thursday as a form of idolatry.
Thursday’s attack was the deadliest in Pakistan since Dec. 16, 2014, when militants assaulted an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 154 people, mostly schoolchildren. Pakistani security forces today arrested 47 suspects in sweeping raids, officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Students lit candles and held signs condemning Thursday’s suicide bombing inside a shrine in Karachi, Pakistan, that killed at least 75 people.