At least 10 dead in Sufi shrine bombing in Pakistan
A bomb ripped through a crowded Sufi shrine Thursday in Pakistan killing at least 10 people and wounding up to 50 others, a senior official said, adding the death toll may rise.
The bombing struck the shrine in the town of Sehwan in Sindh province, some 200 kilometres (124 miles) northeast of the provincial capital Karachi.
“At least 10 people have been killed in (the) bomb blast and up to 50 others have been wounded,” senior local government official Munawar Ali Mahesar told AFP.
“We fear that casualties might increase,” he said, adding the emergency services were trying to rescue the wounded.
A police source said that a suicide bomber had entered the shrine and blown himself up among the devotees, adding the shrine was crowded on a Thursday, considered a sacred day to pray at the shrine.
The security situation has deteriorated recently in Pakistan this week, with a powerful suicide bomb attack rocking the Punjab provincial capital Lahore, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens more on Monday.
Four suicide bombers struck northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six people and unnerving civilians whose growing sense of security has been shaken.
Also on Monday two members of a bomb disposal unit were killed in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, when a device they were defusing went off.
Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security since its deadliest-ever extremist attack — a Pakistani Taliban assault on a school in Peshawar in 2014 which left more than 150 people dead, mostly children, and prompted a government and military crackdown.
The army intensified a long-awaited operation in the semi-autonomous tribal areas, where militants had previously operated with impunity, and the government launched a vaunted National Action Plan against extremism.
Emboldened Pakistanis are once again attending public gatherings and a sense of optimism is palpable after more than a decade of militant attacks.
But critics have repeatedly warned that the crackdown does not address the root causes of extremism, and homegrown groups like the Pakistani Taliban can still carry out spectacular assaults.