Published: Sat, February 18, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Death toll in Pakistan shrine blast jumps to 88

Death toll in Pakistan shrine blast jumps to 88

Mark Toner, the acting US State Department spokesman, decried the attack and said, "We will continue to work with the Government of Pakistan and our partners across the region to combat the threat of terrorism".

Global community showed his deep anguish over the tyrannical incident of bomb blast, which took place at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar on Thursday.

Health officials fear a rise in death toll as dozens were stated to be in critical condition. At least 500 people were gathered at the spot to observe the ritual.

Due to the location of the shrine, which is about 30 miles away from the nearest medical center, vehicles and medical teams transported people to nearby cities like Hyderabad and Jamshoro, according to The Times of India. The driver of the van was killed and five people, including the judge, were injured.

Edhi Foundation chief Faisal Edhi said that all ambulances in the nearby cities were sent to Sehwan Sharif to transport the injured to hospitals.

A large number of devotees, from different faiths and from across the country, frequent the shrine on Thursdays - a day of spiritual significance in Pakistan's shrine culture. "It seems to be a suicide bombing according to initial information provided by Sehwan police to me and I am on way to Sehwan", Wilayat said.

In a statement, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also struck a defiant tone: "Such cowardly acts can not deter the resolve of the nation to stand against terrorism and our government is committed to root out this menace".

An Islamic State suicide bomber targeted worshippers at a famous shrine in southern Pakistan on Thursday, killing dozens of worshippers and left hundreds of people wounded, officials said.

He said that the Sufi people predated Pakistan, and formed an important part in the struggle for its formation.

"The past few days have been hard, and my heart is with the victims", Sharif said.

Pakistani officials say security forces have killed at least 39 suspected militants in countrywide operations following a suicide attack at a famed Sufi shrine in the country's south. "We shall not let the hostile agenda succeed whatever it may cost", the army chief was quoted as saying.

"We have faced tougher circumstances".

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