17 January 2018

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02/17/2017 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.


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.

See also

17/02/2017 11:40:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistan's Catholic Church strongly condemns Sufi temple attack

The suicide attack caused 75 deaths, including 20 children, and over 200 injured. Islamabad imposed a crackdown on terrorism and closes the border with Afghanistan. Catholics fear violence even against the churches. Tomorrow will a youth march in Karachi.


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.


23/02/2017 13:43:00 PAKISTAN
"We are lying to ourselves,” says former Christian general after another bomb kills nine in Lahore

The latest is the eighth incident of violence in ten days. The bomb exploded in the city's commercial district, inside a building under construction. There are fears that some workers are still trapped under the rubble. A number of shops, banks and restaurants were also damaged. No one has yet claimed responsibility. There is little hope for a new military operation against the extremists.

18/02/2017 12:24:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistani police kill over 100 terrorists in raid following Sufi temple attack

The suicide attack in Sindh killed more than 80 people gathered in prayer. The National Action Plan against Terrorism was approved, but lacks the political will to put it into practice. "We must eliminate the Islamic religious element in the Constitution".

06/10/2017 09:33:00 PAKISTAN
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. 

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