Monday, Mar 27, 2017

COAS vows early revenge as nearly 80 killed in shrine blast

Nasir Majeed/Naimat Khan

SEHWAN/KARACHI/RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has appealed to nation to stay calm as nearly hundreds pilgrims were killed more then 80 of others wounded in blast at the Mazar of Lal Shehbaz Qalandar in Sehwan Sharif.

“Your security forces shall not allow hostile powers to succeed. We stand for our nation,” the Army Chief said. "Each drop of nation's blood shall be revenged and revenged immediately. No more restraint for anyone." According to Army’s spokesperson the recent terrorist acts are being executed on directions from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. “We shall defend and respond”. “Armed Forces have placed all required resources for rescue effort. Army and Rangers are doing rescue effort at site,” Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor ?, DG ISPR said in tweet soon after the attack.

According to ISPR Pakistan Air force’s C 130 lifted injured from Nawab Shah Airport whereas Navy helicopters lifted injured from Sehwan and surroundings. COAS has directed immediate assistance to Sehwan blast victims. Army /Rangers moved including medical support. Hyderabad CMH ready to receive casualties. At least hundred people were killed and scores injured in a suicide attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan.

Taluka Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Moinuddin Siddiqui told media that at least 50 bodies and scores of injured have been brought to the hospital.  The Assistant Superintendent of Police in Sehwan said a suicide bomber entered the shrine through its Golden gate. The attacker blew himself up after throwing a grenade, which failed to explode, he added. The explosion took place in the area where Dhamaal (a Sufi ritual) was being performed after evening prayers. A large numbers of devotees, from across the country, frequent the shrine on Thursdays as it is a popular day to visit Sufi shrines. An emergency has been declared in all hospitals of the area, with the injured being shifted to Liaquat Medical Complex Jamshoro and the sub-district hospital.

Meantime, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar strongly condemned the terrorist attack in premises of the Shrine of Qalandar Lal Shehbaz at Sehwan Sharif, Sindh that claimed the lives of innocent citizens, besides causing injuries to many people. Chief Justice of Pakistan has offered his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for speedy recovery of injured people.

Earlier today, an explosive device had targeted an Army convoy in the Awaran area of Balochistan, killing three soldiers. On Feb 15, a suicide bomber struck in Mohmand, killing three personnel of the Khasadar force and five civilians. The attack was claimed by Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) The same day, a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into a vehicle carrying judges in Peshawar's Hayatabad Phase 5 area, killing the driver and injuring its four other occupants. The attack was claimed by the TTP too. On Feb 13, a suicide bomber had struck a protest on Lahore's Charing Cross interchange, killing 13 and injuring 85. The attack had happened right outside the gates of Punjab's Provincial Assembly.

The attack was claimed by the Jamat-ul-Ahrar faction. On the same day, two personnel of Balochistan's bomb disposal squad were killed as they attempted to defuse an explosive device planted under the Sariab Road bridge in Quetta, the provincial capital. The last attack on a shrine of a Sufi mystic took place on November 12, 2016, when a suicide bomber struck the shrine of Shah Norani in the Khuzdar district of Balochistan, where at least 52 people were killed and 102 were injured.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, condemning the blast, said that an attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is an attack on the progressive and inclusive future of Pakistan. "The Sufi people predate Pakistan's history, and played an important part in the struggle for its formation," he said.

 

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