At least 72 martyred in bombing at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine - UPDATED
Date: 16.02.17, 22:07
At least 72 people were martyred Thursday when a suicide bomber attacked the crowded Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, injuring up to 250 others, hospital and senior police officials said.
The powerful blast took place inside the premises of the shrine as a dhamaal was taking place, with a large number of women and children said to be among the casualties.
"At least 72 are dead," senior police officer Shabbir Sethar, adding that the death toll was likely to rise.
Faisal Edhi, the head of Edhi Foundation, confirmed the death toll. "43 men, nine women and 20 children are among the dead," he said.
At least 43 people were killed and scores of others were wounded when a suicide bomber struck Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine in Sehwan Sharif on Thursday, officials said.
Children and women were among the victims. The death toll is feared to go up as many of the injured are in critical condition.
The explosion took place at the spot where the dhamaal (Sufi ritual) was being performed, within the premises of the shrine.
At the time of the blast, there were thousands of people gathered at the spot to view the performance. The sufi shrine is frequented by thousands of devotees and pilgrims on a daily basis.
According to reports reaching here, more than 100 people, including children and women, have been injured in the suicide blast.
The explosion was heard far and wide in Sehwan Sharif town.
Hyderabad Commissioner Qazi Shahid Pervaiz confirmed that there were reports of blast at the shrine. "Emergency has been declared in all hospitals of Hyderabad, Jamshoro and Sehwan Sharif," he said.
The commissioner said that the blast took place outside the shrine.
The injured are being shifted to Liauqat Medical College, Jamshoro and other hospitals of Dadu and Hyderabad.
A rescue worker said that at least 55 to 60 people had died and nearly 500 to 600 others injured. The victims include women, children, old and young.
Edhi Foundation chief Faisal Edhi said that all ambulances in the nearby cities were sent to Sehwan Sharif to transport the injured to hospitals.
"According to information, dozens of people have been injured in the blast," he said.
MS Sehwan Sharif Hospital said that 20 people had already died and more than 50 were in critical condition.
This is not the first time a Sufi shrine has been hit by terrorists.
In November last year, a suicide blast at Shah Noorani shrine killed 52 people and injured more than 100.
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