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Islamic State claims deadly attack at Muslim shrine that left 43 dead

The shrine is worshipped by the Sufi branch of Islam that believes in living saints.

The shrine is located about 62 miles north of Karachi.
The shrine is located about 62 miles north of Karachi.
Image: Youtube

AT LEAST 43 have died and scores of others were injured when a bomb exploded at a Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Saturday, officials said.

The blast hit a crowd of worshippers participating in a ceremony at the shrine of Sufi saint Shah Noorani in Khuzdar district, some 760km south of provincial capital Quetta.

“At least 43 people have been killed and dozens of others wounded,” Sarfraz Bugti told a press conference in the southwestern port town of Gwadar, without providing a precise figure for those injured.

A senior police official and a security official confirmed the death toll.

Local officials said worshippers were taking part in a devotional dance session, which is held daily before dusk, when the blast hit.

Up to 600 people were at the shrine at the time of the attack, according to local official Tariq Mengal, who told Geo TV that many devotees travelled to the site from Karachi during weekends.

The so-called Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack via Amaq, its affiliated news agency.

“35 dead and 95 wounded Shiite visitors in a martyrdom operation attack by the Islamic State fighter that targeted a shrine in a city in Balochistan,” the agency said.

Pakistan Pakistani rescue workers and volunteers carry an injured victim. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Sufism, a mystic Islamic order that believes in living saints, worships through music, and is viewed as heretical by some hardline groups including the Taliban.

The attack comes months after Amjad Sabri, a renowned Sufi singer, was shot dead by two gunmen in Karachi in June.

Some observers have said that Sabri may have been assassinated because he was a high-profile Sufi.

Sufism, a mystic Islamic order that believes in living saints, worships through music, and is viewed as heretical by some hardline groups including the Taliban.

© – AFP 2016

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