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, senior police officials said.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - 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.
"The loud explosion took place inside the complex of the shrine," ASP Rashid told Geo News, with eyewitnesses saying the explosion caused people to panic and triggered a stampede inside the crowded shrine.
Inspector-General Sindh Police AD Khawaja confirmed the death toll.
Large crowds of people from different parts of the province were gathered at the shrine when the blast took place.
Devotees throng to the shrine of the revered Sufi saint every Thursday to participate in a dhamaal and prayers. According to reports, the explosion took place after devotees had gathered inside the premises of the shrine. A high number of casualties were feared because of the crowd of people gathered at the shrine.
Terrorist organisation Daesh has claimed responsibility of the attack.
In a statement issued shortly after the terrorist attack, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa appealed to the nation to stay calm.
"Your security forces shall not allow hostile powers to succeed. We stand for our nation," he said in a statement tweeted out by DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor.
"Each drop of nation's blood shall be revenged, and revenged immediately. No more restraint for anyone," said the Army chief.