Karachi: At least 100 people were killed and more than 250 injured when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up near the gate of the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh province of Pakistan on Thursday late evening.
Police confirmed it was a suicide attack. IG AD Khawaja revised an earlier death toll, saying that at least 100 people have been killed and many more injured.
The bomber struck inside the compound, where a large number of devotees were performing ‘Dhamal’ devotional dance.According to a police source, the bomber entered the shrine and blew himself up amid a large assembly of devotees, many of whom were there because Thursday is considered a sacred day to pray at the shrine.
Sehwan is 132 kilometres from Jamshoro and around 140 kilometres from Hyderabad.
Hyderabad Commissioner Kazi Shahid Parvez said that the incident took place outside the mazar (shrine) near Golden Gate.
The bombing is reminiscent of a near-identical attack at Dargah Shah Noorani, in Khuzdar district of Balochistan, late last year. At least 45 people, including women and children, were killed in that attack.
Army chief General Qamar Bajwa has also directed the medical teams to assist in relief and rescue operation.
It may be noted here that this Sufi pilgrimage centre, famously called Sehwan da Sakhi Shahbaz Qalandar, is the same one that which is mentioned in the popular qawwali ‘Dama Dam Mastt Qalandar’ said to have been penned by Amir Khusro.
Meanwhile, an emergency has been declared in all hospitals of the area, with the injured being shifted to Liaquat Medical Complex Jamshoro and the sub-district hospital.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has ordered immediate rescue operation and government announced emergency in the hospitals of the nearby Jamshooro and Hyderabad districts.
This is the fifth terror attack in Pakistan within a week.