IS claims responsibility for blast at Pakistan Sufi shrine

IS claims responsibility for blast at Pakistan Sufi shrine

Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister of Balochistan, told NBC News that "right now, our sole focus is rescue".

The explosion occurred as worshippers gathered for the dhamaal ritual dance. However, local media quoting intelligence sources claimed that the blast was the act of a suicide bomber who detonated his explosive vest in the middle of a gathering in the shrine's courtyard.

"Thirty-five visitors of the Shia shrine were killed and 95 injured in a martyrdom attack by Islamic State fighters targeting the shrine", the statement said.

Reaching the site has been hard due to the dark and the mountainous terrain. He added that many were also wounded in a stampede after the blast.

"Our focus is on rescue services at the moment". Electric power to the shrine was supplied with generators, DawnNews reported.

"Our attention at present is on the rescue efforts".

The remoteness of the region is making it hard to get emergency services to the area, he said.

Army medical teams treated the wounded at the location.

He also said that an attempt to evacuate the area with the help of helicopter will be made later on.

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has ordered to provide full assistance for evacuation of injured.

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A woman prays for a relative in Karachi on November 12, 2016, following a bombing at a Sufi shrine in Khuzdar, Balochistan. Emergency declared in Khuzdar.

The explosion took place at the Shah Norani shrine in Balochistan's Lasbella district. The injured are being shifted to Civil Hospital Hub for medical treatment.

The most seriously injured were being driven to hospitals in the city of Karachi, more than 85 miles away.

Hashim Ghalzai, a local district commissioner, said the toll was based on initial reports and could rise further. It is approximately 150 kilometres from Karachi.

Last month, gunmen raided a police academynear Quetta, killing 61 people, mostly cadets, before security forces cleared the facility.

Amir Rana, an expert on militancy, said: "It seems that IS has found an ally in Pakistan, which is probably the al Alami faction Lashkar-e-Jhangvi".

In August, 70 people were killed when a bomb went off outside a hospital in provisional capital Quetta.

No one claimed responsibility in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Baluchistan has been the center of a low-level ethnic Baloch separatist insurgency and the target of Islamist militant attacks in the past.