Pakistan terror attack: MEA condemns attack on Lal Shabhaz Qalandar shrine, loss of innocent lives

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New Delhi | Published: February 17, 2017 4:45:49 PM

The MEA has today condemned the attack on Lal Shabhaz Qalandar shrine in Pakistan. In a message to the neighbouring country the ministry said it strongly deplore terror attack at the shrine that resulted in the loss of lives of innocents.

Bomb disposal squad personnel are seen after a suicide bomber attacked a crowded Sufi shrine in Sehwan Sharif, Sindh province, Pakistan in this still image taken from video. (Reuters)Bomb disposal squad personnel are seen after a suicide bomber attacked a crowded Sufi shrine in Sehwan Sharif, Sindh province, Pakistan in this still image taken from video. (Reuters)

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has today condemned the attack on Lal Shabhaz Qalandar shrine in Pakistan. In a message to the neighbouring country the ministry said it strongly deplore terror attack at the shrine that resulted in the loss of lives of innocents.

At least 75 people were killed and 150 others were killed in the attack. The attack, which is perhaps one of the worst strikes in the country, was claimed by the Islamic State through its affiliated news agency.

The blast took place during Dhamal, a sufi ritual, when many devotees were present in the premises of the saint’s mausoleum. Every Thursday, devotees gather at the shrine to take part in dhamaal as weel as prayers. The attack on the shrine had come next day after Pakistan government vowed to take tough actions to “liquidate” all elements that pose threat in the peace and security of the country.

The increasing number of such strikes aimed at the public comes after a brief period marked by relatively few attacks that looks to have drawn the Pakistan Government into a false sense of security. It also showed that the country’s ‘fight against terrorism’ is quite ineffective and still has a long way to go.

In August 2016, a terror a hospital that killed as many as 74 people in Quetta. However, that particular attack was not claimed just by the Islamic State, the Pakistani Taliban too said that its men had carried it out. Another attack in Pakistan killed 13 people – this time in Lahore earlier this week.

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According to authorities at the shrine, the bomber entered at a time when a large crowd was present to watch the Sufi ritual ‘Dhamal’. He first threw a grenade and then detonated the bomb and this caused the huge casualty figures – the bomber had walked right into the middle of the gathering before detonating the bomb. Among the dead are 12 women and 4 children.

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