21 October 2017
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  • » 10/06/2017, 09.33


    Balochistan, Islamic State claims attack on Sufi mausoleum: 20 dead

    A suicide bomber detonated explosives outside the mausoleum of the Sufi "saint" Pir Rakhel Shah. There are also 24 injured. Among the victims, the security guard who prevented the kamikaze from entering the temple crowded with the faithful. 

    Quetta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 20 people died, and another 24 were injured, in the Kamikaze attack that last night devastated the entrance of Sufi Pir Rakhel Shah mausoleum, in Jhal Magsi district, Pakistani province of Balochistan.

    Mohammad Iqbal, district police officer, reports that the attacker, armed with an explosive belt, detonated his bomb when a security guard attempted to prevent him from entering the sanctuary. The attack has already been claimed by the Islamic State on Amaq, the propaganda site of the Caliphate militants, who exulted the "martyrdom operation."

    Yesterday the mausoleum was crowded with hundreds of faithful gathered together to commemorate the anniversary of their sufi "saint". According to testimonies collected by the police, the attendant waited for the end of the evening prayer and struck while performing the dhamaal, a ritual of music and dance typical of Sufi traditions.

    Sarfaraz Bugti, Minister of Interior of Balochistan, said that only the timely intervention of the security guard, among the victims of the explosion, avoided a heavier toll. "If the attacker - he said - had managed to enter the dargah (mausoleum), it would have been a massacre."

    Yesterday's was the second assault on a Sufi worship site in 2017. Earlier, in February, an attack on the Sufi sanctuary of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan City caused more than 80 deaths and 250 wounded. Sufism is a current of moderate Islam and involves mystical and liberating practices (such as music and dance). Such practices are ostracized by extremists, who regard them as heretical and an insult to Islam.

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    See also

    06/10/2017 17:00:00 PAKISTAN
    Sufi Mausoleum attacked to punish the tradition of music and dance, say activists

    The Rawadari Tehreek group condemns the attack on the Pir Rakhel Shah shrine, in Balochistan. Radicals are against ‘dhamal’, the whirling dance, because it provides an emotional outlet. For Sufi poet, “terrorism poses greater challenges to activists who cure the evils of society.”

    14/11/2016 12:03:00 PAKISTAN
    Balochistan, Catholic leaders condemn attack on Sufi shrine that left 52 deads

    The explosion took place before sunset at the shrine of Shah Noorani, about 750 km south of Quetta.  It is a place of pilgrimage from all over Pakistan and abroad. The faithful of Sufism are accused of heresy for rituals involving singing and dancing. Taliban extremists operative in the region and the Islamic State.


    25/10/2016 09:57:00 PAKISTAN
    Quetta suicide attack on police academy leaves 59 dead

    The victims were cadets and guards; at least 120 wounded. 700 students in the structure at the time of the attack. Suicide bombers from Taliban cell of an extremist group. The Balochistan region is part of an ambitious Chinese economic plan.

    17/11/2011 PAKISTAN
    Karachi: Protestant clergyman killed in extremist ambush
    From Quetta, Jameel Sawan was an aide to Saleem Khurshid Khokhar, a member of the Sindh provincial legislature and head of the local APMA branch. In the past, the two men had been the object of threats from Muslim fundamentalists. Christian political leader demands “justice” for the clergyman and “security” for those who fight for minorities.

    17/02/2017 11:00:00 PAKISTAN
    Sindh, Islamic State militant blows himself up in a Sufi temple: 75 dead and 200 injured

    The attack took place in the temple of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, in the city of Sehwan. 20 children among the dead The militant chose time when the place was crowded to attend a ritual dance.


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