Three powerful blasts ripped through a crowded Sufi shrine near Dera Ghazi Khan in Pakistan’s Punjab province today, killing at least 40 people and injuring 100 others, a government official said. The first blast occurred at the main entrance of the Sakhi Sarwar Darbar located about 30 kms from Dera Ghazi Khan. The two other blasts went off inside the shrine just as a rescue operation had been launched at the site, officials said.
“40 people were killed and 100 injured in the deadly attack,” Express TV said. About 20 of the injured are in a serious condition, Natiq Hayat, a doctor in charge of emergency rescue service in the area said. The injured included elderly persons, women and childen, he told reporters. About 60 of the injured had been taken to hospitals in Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan and other nearby cities, Hayat said.
The remaining were being transported to hospitals, he said. Officials said rescue operations had been affected as the shrine was located at a distance from the main cities. TV news channels reported that a suspected suicide bomber was captured by rescue workers. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban fighters who consider Sufi shrines as un-Islamic have targeted several of them in the past few years. Agencies