Pakistan which has seen a surge of terrorist attacks in last two years got another blow when a suicide bomber struck inside a famed shrine in southern Pakistan on February 16, killing 75 and injuring around 250 people.
According to the security officials, the bomber entered the main hall of the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan and detonated his payload amid dozens of worshippers.
Among the casualties, there were at least 20 women and 9 children.
The Islamic State group claimed the attack in a statement circulated by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted a “Shiite gathering” against which the terrorist outfit had always despised of. The Sunni extremist group views Shiites as absconders and has targeted Pakistan’s Shiite minority in the past.
A witness at the site said, “I saw bodies everywhere. I saw bodies of women and children.”
In retaliation against the attack, the authorities have sealed border crossing with Afghanistan for an indefinite period and have hampered any type of exchange and transport.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed that security forces would track down the perpetrators of the attack to a media channel. “Each drop of the nation’s blood shall be avenged and avenged immediately,” Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, said in a statement. “No more restraint for anyone.”
The attack on February 16 was the deadliest attack since the horrible December 16, 2014, when militants assaulted an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 154 people including a large number of school going children.
Pakistan’s security forces have instigated a crackdown after the attack and have killed at least 39 suspected militants in an overnight raid targeting militant hideouts that also led to the arrest of 47 suspects.