Afghanistan

Afghanistan: 44 dead in DGK shrine blasts Taliban claim responsibility

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F.P. Report DERA GHAZI KHAN: At least 44 devotees were killed and more than 115 injured in three blasts hitting Hazrat Syed Ahmad Sultan Sakhi Sarwar shrine about 40 kilometres from here on Sunday evening. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the blasts. Several thousand people were attending celebrations to mark the annual urs of Sakhi Sarwar in Dera Ghazi Khan district when the bombers struck crowds outside the complex, said administrator Iftikhar Sahu. According to monitoring incharge Rescue 1122 Muhammad Ahsan, the blasts occurred near the main gate of Shrine and as a result 44 devotees were killed and more than 115 injured. Rescue teams rushed to the shrine after blasts. The injured were shifted to district headquarters hospital in D.G.Khan where an emergency was declared and all the doctors and para medical staff called in to attend the patients. Twenty of the injured persons, including women and children were in critical condition. A large number of devotees had also come from Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh. A stampede followed the bombings, but it was unclear whether that caused any casualties. TV footage showed ambulances racing to hospitals and volunteers helping blood-soaked victims. Shrines in the country range from one-room tombs in small villages to large complexes in major cities that attract thousands every day. There has been a series of bloody attacks on them. Local and foreign militants have carried out hundreds of attacks in Pakistan over the last three years, targeting government buildings and security forces, Western targets like embassies and hotels as well as religious minorities and Muslim sects they consider heretical. DCO Iftikhar Ali Sahu talking to mediamen said the first blast occurred at the main gate of the shrine while the two blasts occurred outside the shrine on the occasion of annual urs celebrations of the sufi saint. According to RPO Ahmad Mubarak police have apprehended two alleged would-be suicide bombers. The name of one of the arrested terrorists is Fida Hussain who belongs to Dera Ismail Khan. His suicide jacket was defused and shifted to undisclosed location for investigation. Meanwhie, head of the dead suicide bomber has been sent for DNA test. © Copyright The Frontier Post

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