36 dead as triple blasts rock Pakistan Sufi shrine


IslamabadS : Three suicide blasts ripped through a Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s Punjab province Sunday evening, killing at least 36 people and injuring over 100, officials said.

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The first blast in the Sakhi Sarwar shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan district took place at about 5.40 p.m., Geo News reported.

Rescue monitoring in-charge Muhammad Ahsan said the blast took place near the main gate of the shrine, where Sufi Muslims had gathered for a three-day festival.

The second blast occurred at that rear end of the shrine located on top of a mountain 40 km away from the district administrative area.

The third blast took place about an hour later when devotees were busy helping the injured people at the site.

Hundreds of people, including women and children, had gathered at the shrine in the afternoon.

The condition of several injured was critical, district official Iftikhar said.

Police said the blasts were suicide attacks. The suicide bomber in the first blast who died on the spot was aged between 17 and 22.

Another alleged suicide bomber – hailing from the northwestern part of the country – was taken into custody and his suicide jacket was defused. He was later taken to undisclosed location for investigation.

As the shrine is located on a mountain, rescue workers were facing difficulties in shifting the injured people down to the plains, officials said, adding that many critically injured people died before they reached hospital.

No group has, however, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last year, there were several suicide blasts at shrines across the country. One such attack in Lahore claimed the lives of at least 37 people and injured over 170. Shrines at Karachi and Quetta have also been targeted in the past.