At least 30 killed in Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine blast
Feb 17 2017 by Desiree Burns
The attack is the latest in a string of blasts in Pakistan this week.
Security officials said at least 18 terrorists had been killed in Sindh province overnight, and 13 more in the country's northwest. "I saw bodies of women and children", a witness, identified as Raja Somro, reportedly said.
The Pakistani government has blocked routes to its border with Afghanistan, BBC reported.
The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan army, said that the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been closed with immediate effects till further orders due to security reasons.
Military spokesman Asif Ghafoor said the attacks had been carried out from sanctuaries in Afghanistan and that Kabul had been asked to take action.
A roadside bomb hit an army convoy on Thursday, killing three soldiers in the south-western province of Baluchistan, but no group immediately claimed responsibility for that attack.
At least 72 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bomb attack on a shrine in Pakistan, according to police.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, whose constituency includes Sehwan, admitted that the nearest medical facility is located 40 to 50 kilemetres from the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine.
Four suicide bombers struck northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six people and unnerving civilians whose growing sense of security has been shaken.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the attack, which has been claimed by so-called Islamic State. "But we can't let these events divide us, or scare us", he said.
"We must stand united in this struggle for the Pakistani identity, and universal humanity". "Your security forces shall not allow hostile powers to succeed", explained General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The suicide attack happened during the dhamaal ceremony, a Sufi ritual practiced by thousands of devotees at the shrine. "No more restraint for anyone", the army chief was quoted as saying.
Thursday's attack was the deadliest in Pakistan following the December 16, 2014 assault on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed 154 people, mostly schoolchildren.
Most of Pakistan's myriad radical Sunni militant groups - including the Pakistani Taliban's various factions and Islamic State loyalists - despise Sufis, Shi'ite Muslims and other religious minorities as heretics.
Sufi shrines often come under attack by the rebel Taliban, who follow the hardline Salafist version of Islam popular in most of parts of Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia.