72 dead as suicide bomber strikes inside Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan

Published: February 16, 2017
Inside view of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine in Sehwan, Sindh where a suicide bomber blew himself up on Thursday, February 16, 2017. PHOTO: ONLINE

Inside view of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine in Sehwan, Sindh where a suicide bomber blew himself up on Thursday, February 16, 2017. PHOTO: ONLINE

Inside view of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine in Sehwan, Sindh where a suicide bomber blew himself up on Thursday, February 16, 2017. PHOTO: ONLINE View of a compound inside Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine in Sehwan, Sindh where a suicide bomber blew himself up on Thursday, February 16, 2017. PHOTO: PPI.

HYDERABAD / KARACHI: At least 72 people have been killed and over 200 injured in a suicide bombing at the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh’s Sehwan town on Thursday, officials confirmed.

Police confirmed it was a suicide attack. IG AD Khawaja revised an earlier death toll, saying that at least 72 people (43 men, 20 children and nine women) have been killed and many more injured.

The bomber struck inside the compound, where a large number of devotees were performing dhamal, devotional dance, sources said.

According to a police source, the bomber entered the shrine and blew himself up amid a large assembly of devotees, many of whom were there because Thursday is considered a sacred day to pray at the shrine.

Sehwan is 132 kilometres from Jamshoro and around 140 kilometres from Hyderabad.

“The incident took place outside the mazar (shrine) near Golden Gate,” Hyderabad Commissioner Kazi Shahid Parvez told The Express Tribune.

The bombing is reminiscent of a near-identical attack at Dargah Shah Noorani, in Khuzdar district of Balochistan, late last year. At least 45 people, including women and children, were killed in that attack.

IS-claimed bombing kills at least 52 at Khuzdar shrine

An emergency has been declared in hospitals across Dadu, Sehwan and Hyderabad.

“Ambulances from Hyderabad and Jamshoro have been sent to Sehwan. The town has a taluka hospital but it is not equipped with a trauma centre to deal with emergency cases,” in-charge Edhi Foundation Mairaj Ahmed told The Express Tribune.

Army chief General Qamar Bajwa also directed the medical teams to assist in relief and rescue operation.

Navy helicopters, PAF aircraft are being dispatched for rescue operations, according to the ISPR.

Eyewitnesses described gory scenes in the shrine’s compound where human body parts were seen scattered. Some bodies were also seen lying on the floor.

More terror

‘Terrorist acts being executed from Afghanistan’

Meanwhile, the ISPR said the terrorist acts were being executed from sanctuaries based in Afghanistan.

“Recent terrorist acts are being executed on the directions from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We shall defend and respond,” DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a statement.

“Each drop of nation’s blood shall be avenged immediately.
No more restraint for anyone,” the army chief was quoted as saying.

Lahore, Quetta — the bombers are back

Blood donation

Local authorities have appealed the people for blood donation. Many of the injured were shifted to the hospital in rickshaws, on foot and on carts before the ambulances arrived.

IS claims responsibility

Global terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility of the attack, the group’s affiliated news agency AMAQ reported.

Zardari to visit Sehwan

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has left for Karachi from Dubai, sources told The Express Tribune. The former president will also pay a visit to the shrine.

The country has seen an upsurge in terrorist violence over the past few days, with bombers striking in Lahore, Peshawar, Mohmand Agency, and now in Sindh. Seven people were killed in two suicide attacks in Mohmand, while a bomber targeted a van carrying lower court judges in Peshawar.

Four bombers strike in 24 hours

Torkham border closed

Security forces have shut down the Torkham border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Pakistan-Afghanistan border closed with immediate effect till further orders due to security reasons,” the ISPR said.


Political leaders including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan condemned the deadly attack.


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Reader Comments (31)

  • Mazhar A. Jarwar
    Feb 16, 2017 - 7:57PM

    Action Plan.. Rest in Peace
    Series of explosions and we still blame raw instead of our securities non-serious attitude.
    Lahore-Peshawar-Sehwan-?? Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Feb 16, 2017 - 8:05PM

    Really sad to see the innocents perishing for no fault of theirs.The policy of good and bad Terrorists caught pakistan by neck.Wake up.Cleanse every one from your soil.Otherwise it’s question of your existence!Recommend

  • Taseer Suleman
    Feb 16, 2017 - 8:25PM

    Ambulances req a 2-2.5hr single side drive from the incident I wish Sindh Government had concenterated on health improvement rather than individual so called incentives they are giving per month.
    Ppl always support your security dept in the hour of need be it Army or Police we can not bear the consequences of a low moral support under such circumstances be it Lahore-Peshawar-SehwanRecommend

  • Lalit
    Feb 16, 2017 - 8:30PM

    @wiserneighbour: We all know there is a tit for tat game being played by Indian intelligence and Pakistani intelligence agencies. This is to keep Pakistanis on edge and busy while India decides how best to counter the changing sands and CPEC. It’s about economics, power and influence. Unfortunately poor civilians get caught up in these games.Recommend

  • Lumdheeng
    Feb 16, 2017 - 8:32PM

    Pakistan need seriously to deal with madrasasas where youths are motivated to kill people. Recommend

  • Sial
    Feb 16, 2017 - 8:32PM

    General Bajwa, time to get active.Recommend

  • SuperNeo
    Feb 16, 2017 - 8:44PM

    Very SAD Pakistan, Please stand against all kind of terrorism.Recommend

  • Billoo
    Feb 16, 2017 - 9:02PM

    Enough is enough. Pakistan should hit their sanctuaries inside Afghanistan and else where as well as target their financiers. It is very evident that, this is being supported by India finacially and technically to stop hosting of International cricket in Pakistan like they did by attacking the Sri-Lanka cricket team in lahore.Recommend

  • khizir Hayat
    Feb 16, 2017 - 9:22PM

    Very sadness God for gave me and my lovely nationa run us on right pathRecommend

  • cuban
    Feb 16, 2017 - 9:31PM

    This madness has to stop – time for a major change in the players/attitudes of the people responsible for dealing with this issue. Nisar needs to resign or be fired – he has no credibility. Govt/Military/Parliament need to join hands and eliminate good/bad terrorist – no more safe havens for anybody and that includes Punjab. It’s also time to go after the extremist who hide under the title of Imam and their hate factories which hold themselves out as Madrassas. Enough is enough!Recommend

  • 007
    Feb 16, 2017 - 10:15PM

    Trump style Wall is needed on Afghan border or Pak Military action needed inside Afghanistan to annex with Pakistan and enforce our law and order.Recommend

  • Sameer
    Feb 16, 2017 - 10:24PM

    You saying the right think. I hope our government can read all this and act fast before its too late. Very sad what has happen today. Only poor and innocent people are dead. Recommend

  • Sameer
    Feb 16, 2017 - 10:25PM

    Agreed at your point. But they will never give up their eats for anything. Recommend

  • Sameer
    Feb 16, 2017 - 10:28PM

    I 100% agreed with you on this. It only INDIA who is doing all this to our motherland. Indian’s are always jealous of our prosperity. This is a wake up call for Pakistan government. Recommend

  • Giri
    Feb 16, 2017 - 10:38PM

    I see that conditions are being created for Army take over. Like last time world powers will heave a sigh of relief and then Army can rule for years.Recommend

  • Nazia asif
    Feb 16, 2017 - 10:40PM

    General. Raheel sharief come back and save pakistanRecommend

  • syed NASir
    Feb 16, 2017 - 10:58PM

    This is very painfull and very shameless I don’t knw why the gov couldn’t stop such a these death plays which is continuly playing with little childs babyes women and humanity.?
    gov couldn’t save us.!Recommend

  • Abdul Hafeez
    Feb 16, 2017 - 11:46PM

    Rise of IS from the the smoke Of the Middle East has swarmed both in Afghanistan and Pakistan while the world powers are still denying of the presence of the vicious organization. in fact, they want to conceal their failure to tackle the group in the Middle East and elsewhere. that is why America is impatient to leave the region at the earnest fearing its defeat………….Recommend

  • Billoo
    Feb 17, 2017 - 12:16AM

    When similar incidents were happening in Punjab and elsewhere, why the management of Sehwan Sharif still kept their guards down and did not request any Police and security from the district management. The management of the Dargah and district police are fully held responsible for their negligence.Recommend

  • MJ-Sid
    Feb 17, 2017 - 12:33AM

    @Nazia Asif … What did your favorite General do to control this when he was in power? Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Feb 17, 2017 - 12:59AM

    We should not blame anyone instead to be vigilant with open eyes just look what these people were doing there dancing Dhamal isn’t it prohibited in our religion as everyone knows Pakistan is passing through critical times, one should take care of his house while pointing out fingers on others Recommend

  • JJ
    Feb 17, 2017 - 1:15AM

    Is there no checkpoints to check for suicide bombers? Isn’t this police inexcusable laxity? and no one is dismissed or arrested among the ones who were responsible for security? Recommend

  • Shakeel Ahmed
    Feb 17, 2017 - 1:16AM

    Very sad this pure place is of a greatest Sufi of love of God n humanity, we condemn such a massacre on soil of love n wisdom. We r facing the no 1 national problem of terrorism. My appeal to the nation is to reject such terror ideology or faith that is harmful to humanity.Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Feb 17, 2017 - 1:32AM

    Now you can once and for all forget PSL final being held in Pakistan. If we can’t protect our own people how do we expect to protect the foreign and local cricketers. The scum leaders are only there to protect themselves, their ill-gotten wealth and continue to rule. Say Adieu to cricket and to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Singh
    Feb 17, 2017 - 2:12AM

    @syed NASir:
    How will you stop a suicide bomber?Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Feb 17, 2017 - 3:46AM

    @Lalit: your comments show your stupidity. Even when IS claims responsibility for this and other attack you keep harping on that India has caused this mayhem. Pakistan has nourished these murderers for attacks on India and now are savouring the fruits its action. Remember the warning of Hillary Clinton all those years ago.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Feb 17, 2017 - 7:02AM

    Nothing will change in Pakistan until the government gets serious about crushing these militant groups who facilitate such attacks!
    How many more Pakistanis must die before Pakistan actually fully implements NAP?
    How many more Pakistanis must die before Interior minister Nisar is sacked due to his well known soft corner for these groups?
    How many more Pakistanis must die before the public and media actively rubbishes politicians “foreign hand” excuse to deflect blame?Recommend

  • Rizwan
    Feb 17, 2017 - 7:52AM

    It’s time to carry out surgical strikes into Afghanistan. Recommend

  • Naim Khan
    Feb 17, 2017 - 8:40AM

    It satarted again I would blame our intelligence agencies, and the police, our police busy protecting our corrupt politicians, and I would blame our public. A suicide bomber??? Who was he? We don’t see any photos of him? So far our agencies have failed when it comes to gethering information about any suicide bomber’s background.we must send all Afghan refugees back to their country despite international pressure, we must close Afghan border for good few years, I don’t understand our government? Our PM and Co are busy doing nothing. I have never heard a politician has died in the bomb blast why? Only poor people. Recommend

  • love
    Feb 17, 2017 - 9:03AM

    How can you bring CPEC here as well! Oh your are so obsessed with it. Sad… innocent people dying and you still think of economics..Very sad.

    God bless Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ali Abro
    Feb 18, 2017 - 5:40PM

    The location shown in the map is Wrong…Recommend

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