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Lal Shahbaz Qalandar dargah blast kills 74 during dhamal sufi dance

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Karachi: More than seventy people have been pronounced dead in the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar dargah bombing in Sehwan, Pakistan’s Sindh province. The large number of injured, who couldn’t be provided basic health services, due to its absence in Sehwan Sharif, mean that the death toll will go up further.

Already there are reports that many people who were taken to Karachi and other areas later in the evening have succumbed to their injuries. Many news sources are quoting the death toll at 100.

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar dargah in Sehwan is a major sufi shrine in the province that attracts thousands of people every day. The number of visitors is usually very high on Thursdays, when people believe that prayers are heard and wishes granted.

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar dargah

Reports suggest that the powerful blast hit the shrine when it’s very popular dhamaal sufi dance was underway. As the bomb hit the area meant for women, many of the injured and dead were children and women. Reports suggest that more than three hundred people were injured in the inhuman bomb blast.

A report by Geo News said that “Taluka Hospital Sehwan confirmed the death toll of 60 men, four women and six children; further adding that 55 bodies have been handed over to their heirs, while 15 were unidentifiable. The medical facility further informed that among the injured; 190 men, 11 women and nine children were under treatment, while 41 wounded patients were shifted to other hospitals”.

On the other hand another report quoting officials of MS Peoples Medical Centre, Nawabshah, said that there were as many as 37 severely injured people at the health facility.

Many of the people were reportedly also shifted to provincial capital of Karachi. Pakistani army had deployed transport planes and helicopters with night navigation capabilities to tend to injured and ferry them to hospitals. In the late night development, seven critically injured patients braving head wounds arrived from C-130 jet to Karachi. According to rescue sources, the injured were immediately shifted to a private hospital.

Meanwhile, reports have debunked the theory doing the rounds that the suicide bomber was a woman. Police officials claim that they haven’t found anything to substantiate the claim. Senior Counter-terrorism department (CTD) official Raja Umar Khattab dispelled initial reports that the suicide bomber was a female. He said that evidence suggested that the suicide bomber was a male. The long hair found at the blast site, he added, most likely belonged to one of the dervish at the shrine. He added that not much explosives were used in the suicide jacket, and the deaths and injuries were caused due to the ball bearings present in the jacket.

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