Suicide bomber kills at least 20 at religious shrine in Pakistan

Suicide bomber, who blew himself up at the entrance of a religious shrine, killed at least 20, injuring dozens more. An attack PM has condemned, saying that 'terrorists have non religion'

With the suicide bomber claiming at least 20 lives, it is feared the death toll could be higher (Photo: Reuters)
With the suicide bomber claiming at least 20 lives, it is feared the death toll could be higher (Photo: Reuters)

A suicide bomber has killed at least 20 and injured another 30, after blowing himself up at the gate of a religious shrine, in a remote part of Pakistan.

The Sufi shine – Sufism being a more mystic interpretation of Islam – is located in an area southwest of Balochistan, in a town called Jhal Magsi, One police constable was among the dead, according police officer Muhammad Iqbal.

The dead also included three children, according to Asadullah Kakar, the deputy commissioner for Jhal Magsi.

A spokesperson for the police said that investigations were still under way. The bravery of the police officials and security guards, he said, ensured that the suicide bomber could not harm the people who had amassed inside. The constable who actively stopped the bomber at the entrance of the shrine, was identified as Bahar Khan, according to reports.

Police constable Bahar Khan reported to have sacrificed his life and saved many lives (Photo: Geo News)
Police constable Bahar Khan reported to have sacrificed his life and saved many lives (Photo: Geo News)

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack, saying in a statement that "terrorists have no religion."

"We will not allow them to disturb our peace and values; they will be dealt with the full might of the state," he added.

The Fateh Pur shrine is open to all sects of Islam to attend for worship.

Worshipers were at the shrine to mark Muharram, one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar. For Shiites, it was a time to mourn one of their imams, or saints. Militants opposed to pluralist interpretations of Islam have targeted shrines such as this before.

In a statement released by ISIS' media wing, the Amaq news agency, the Islamic State of Khorasan claimed it had sent the bomber to strike the shrine in Jhal Magsi.

In February of this year, at least 75 people were killed in an attack on Pakistan’s Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine, in the southern city of Sehwan in the Sindh province. ISIS' affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Islamic State of Khorasan, claimed responsibility for that attack.

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