02/17/2017, 11.00

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.


Karachi (AsiaNews) – The death toll from the attack left last night on a Sufi temple in the province of Sindh, in the south-east of Pakistan is worsening by the hour. The latest news reports the death of at least 75 worshipers, including about 20 children, and 200 other people injured.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State of Amaq. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed strong condemnation of the last act of violence. Despite the pain for the loss of life, he said, "we must not let these events divide us. We must remain united in the struggle for Pakistani identity". Meanwhile his government launched an overnight crackdown against terrorism all over the country, hunting down and killing 25 people affiliated with Islamic terrorist groups.

The suicide attack in Sindh is the latest in a long series that hit the country this week, strained by the attack of 13 February in front of the Punjab Assembly in Lahore. Yesterday's attack hit the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan town (about 200 kilometers from Karachi). The suicide bomber chose a time when the temple was most crowded, while the "Dhamaal", a ritual and typical dance in Sufi tradition, was being performed.

According to witnesses, the man hid a grenade under a burka, evading controls. Eye witnesses describe "blood scattered everywhere, along with shreds of clothes and sandals." A few minutes after the attack the Edhi Foundation network of ambulances founded by the "Mother Teresa of Pakistan" sprang into action, transporting the wounded to the nearest medical facility, about 40 kilometers away. Others were transferred to hospitals in Karachi and other cities across the province.

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