Nov 17, 2016

Balochistan: ISIS Bomb at Muslim Shrine Leaves 52 Dead and Hundreds Injured

Photo Courtesy of Indian Express

On 12 November 2016, dozens of people have been killed and hundreds injured by an ISIS suicide bomb attack on the Dargah Shah Noorani shrine in Balochistan. Hundreds of worshippers had been inside the Sufi shrine for the Dhamaal dance ceremony, when a teenager suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest. The Dhamaal ceremony takes place every day after sunset and, on this day, was attended by more than 500 devotees, many of them women and children. Emergency services faced difficulties accessing the site because of its remote location, while nightfall further complicated evacuating the injured to nearby hospitals.

Below is an article posted by the Indian Express:

At least 52 people, including women and children, were killed and more than 100 injured in a suicide attack carried out by a 14-year-old boy at a popular Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Saturday [12 November 2016]. The blast occurred in the remote Hub region in Lasbela district where devotees were attending a Sufi dance called “dhamaal” at Dargah Shah Noorani shrine. Balochistan Interior Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed the blast which happened when about 500 to 600 devotees were present at shrine.

Bugti said it was a remote area and it would be quite a task to retrieve the dead and injured when already darkness engulfed the region. Meanwhile, the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack via Amaq news agency.

Tehsildar Javed Iqbal said security arrangements at the Shah Noorani shrine were not properly arranged. “It is sad that although thousands of devotees from Karachi and other parts of the country visit the shrine everyday but there are no medical emergencies or ambulances at the site,” he said.

“The shrine is located some 250 kilometres from Karachi in the remote mountains of Uthal and our vehicles have been dispatched there to carry out rescue operations and shift the injured to the hospitals,” said Hakeen Lassi, an official of the Edhi Trust Foundation.

Rescue teams had reached the blast site and started shifting the deceased and injured to the hospital. However, rescuers were facing difficulty in accessing the site as the shrine is located in a remote area. The death toll is feared to rise with women and children casualties in the deadly blast.

He said the devotees take part in the ‘dhamaal’ everyday after sunset and the blast took place close to where they were dancing in a trance inside the compound of the shrine.

President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have strongly condemned the bomb blast. They directed the concerned authorities to speed up the rescue activities and provide best medical facilities to the injured. Political leaders including Imran Khan and Maryam Nawaz Sharif also expressed grief over the killing of people in the blast.