Deadly blast hits shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan

Deadly blast hits shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan

Deadly blast hits shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan

In February, a suicide blast on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar had killed over 90 people and injured around 400.

A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the Sufi shrine in remote Jhal Magsi district of the province, minutes before sunset when hundreds of devotees were attending a religious congregation, local broadcaster Geo TV reported quoting police officials.

Sarfraz Bugto, the provincial home minister, said "terrorists have shown their inhumaneness by attacking innocent civilians".

The Islamic State Khorasan Province - the Middle Eastern group's affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan - has since released a statement claiming the attack, according to the US-based monitoring group SITE. "If he had managed to enter the shrine there would be have been greater casualties", Bugti said.

Kakar further added that the suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside the shrine soon after he was identified.

Confirming the death toll, spokesperson of Balochistan government, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar said that the killed people also included a policeman.

The local administration has declared an emergency at hospitals in Sibbi and Dera Murad Jamali.

Todays attack is the second major strike at a shrine in Balochistan where in November 2016, at least 52 people were killed and 102 injured in a blast at the shrine of Shah Norani in Khuzdar district.

IS and other Sunni extremists perceive Shiites as apostates who should be killed and have carried out many such attacks in the past, targeting minority Shiite Muslims in Baluchistan and elsewhere in the country.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack.

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