At least 45 people, including women and children, were killed and over 100 sustained injuries in an explosion that struck Dargah Shah Noorani in Khuzdar district Saturday evening.
Rescue teams have finally reached the blast site after facing enormous hardships and started shifting the deceased and injured to hospitals in Karachi and other nearby health centres in Balochistan.
The target of the attack was a widely visited shrine where faithfuls were busy in performing dhamaal – a trance-like dance. The rough terrain site, a famous sufi worship place, is situated in Khuzdar district, some 250km away from Karachi.
Rescue teams and law enforcers were facing difficulty in reaching the site as Dargah Shah Noorani is located in a remote area of the volatile province.
“Our focus is on rescue services at the moment. We can’t be certain about the exact number of casualties and the nature of attack that took place today,” Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said while talking to Express News.
According to police sources, it was a suicide attack carried out by a 14-year-old boy. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
PM orders speedy rescue operation
Expressing grief over the loss of innocent lives, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack at Dargah Shah Noorani and directed the concerned authorities to bring the perpetrators to the task immediately.
He also ordered speedy rescue services to save the lives of those injured in the attack.
COAS orders maximum assistance for blast victims
Gen Raheel Sharif has ordered troops of Pakistan Army to provide the victims of the blast with maximum assistance for evacuation and medical treatment, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
Troops and medical teams have been dispatched towards the blast site, it also said, adding that six medical teams, 150 soldiers and 65 ambulances were about to reach the bombing site.
CM Sindh sends 50 ambulances to Khuzdar; emergency declared in Civil Hospital and JPMC
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah has ordered the concerned authorities to send 50 ambulances for rescue services in Khuzdar.
A statement issued from CM House said that he expressed profound grief over the loss of lives at Shah Noorani and ordered Commissioner Karachi to send ambulances, medicines and other required things.
While emergency has been imposed in Civil Hospital and Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) in Karachi, the chief minister also directed IG Sindh Police AD Khowaja to beef up security at Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai shrine as Urs celebration will start there from Monday.
Imran calls for helicopter service
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan also lamented the loss of lives in the attack and demanded helicopter service to help rescuers save the victims of the blast.
Pakistan Awami Tehreek chairperson Tahirul Qadri also condemned the attack and held the rulers responsible for the tragic incident.