IS claims responsibility for Pakistani shrine attack

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — An Islamic State suicide bomber targeted worshippers at a famous shrine in southern Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 35 people and wounding over 50 others, officials said.

According to state-run Pakistan Television, authorities transported at least 30 bodies to hospitals following the deadly attack. Provincial health Minister Sikandar Ali Mandhro told reporters that the death toll from the attack rose to 35.

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 of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, named after the famous Sufi saint buried there, in the town of Sehwan in the southern Sindh province.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying a suicide bomber had targeted a “Shiite gathering” at the shrine.

Local government official Munawar Ali also confirmed that attack and said their priority was to quickly transport the victims of the suicide attack.

The military says it is dispatching troops to contribute to the relief effort.

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