At least 30 people killed, 70 others injured in explosion.
At least 30 people died and 70 others were injured when a bomb exploded at a Sufi shrine in 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 760 kilometers south of provincial capital Quetta.
Government official Javed Iqbal told Newsweek a large number of visitors from across Balochistan and Karachi had been at the shrine due to the weekend. “I can confirm 30 people, including women and children, have died while 70 others are injured,” he added.
Local officials said worshippers were taking part in a devotional dance session, which is held daily before dusk, when the blast hit.
“Over 50 Edhi Rescue Team ambulances have reached the area and have started an operation to shift the wounded to Lasbela Hospital,” said Hakim Lasi, a rescue official with the Edhi Foundation. “The death toll might increase as it will take time to shift the critically wounded to hospitals due to the distance involved,” he added.
“The death toll is higher than we had expected since the blast took place inside the shrine while hundreds of people, including women and children, were praying,” said Sarfaraz Bugti, the interior minister of Balochistan. “Our top priority right now is ensuring the wounded all receive proper treatment.”
A senior official claimed the blast had been a suicide bombing, but there was no official confirmation.