The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying a suicide bomber had targeted a “Shia gathering” at the shrine. Pakistani officials said the suicide bomber walked through a gold plated door and entered the main hall of the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar before setting off his payload amid a gathering of worshippers.
Senior police officer Rashad Hayat said the attacker detonated his suicide jacket when hundreds of worshippers were performing their weekly mystical dance — called Dhamal — at the shrine in the town of Sehwan in the southern Sindh province.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed that security forces would track down the perpetrators of the attack, according to Pakistani state TV.
The U.S. State Department condemned the attack and offered its support to Pakistan in bringing the perpetrators to justice. “We stand with the people of Pakistan in their fight against terrorism and remain committed to the security of the South Asia region,” said a statement by acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
- Pakistan: IS attack on Sufi shrine in Sindh kills dozens (bbc.com)
- ISIS claims responsibility after Pakistani shrine attack kills at least 75 (cbc.ca)
- At least 74 martyred in bombing at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine (geo.tv)