Suicide Pakistan: Morethan 40 killed
April 3, 2011 by staff
The explosions occurred near the shrine in the Punjab Sakhi Sarwar, a Sufi Muslim devotees gathered for an annual three-day festival.
Sufi, Muslim minorities who follow the mystical beliefs are considered heretical by the hardliners.
A Taliban fighter told reporters that his group carried out the attack, the third of the Sufi shrines in one year.
Ehsanullah Ehsan told the Reuters news agency that the attack was in retaliation for a government offensive against militants in northwestern Pakistan.
Sunday’s blasts struck near a shrine of Sufi saint Sakhi Sarwar in Dera Ghazi Khan district, and the devotees were reportedly among the dead and wounded.
“We have recovered bodies so far,” said police official Zahid Hussain Shah told AFP news agency.
He said suicide bombers caused both explosions, adding: “They came on foot and blew themselves up when police guard stopped them.”
Another police officer told the press that a third attacker was captured before he could detonate his explosives
Faisal Iqbal witness told Reuters he had been standing a few meters from one of the explosions.
“People started running out of the sanctuary. Women and children were crying and shouting. It was like hell,” he said.
Thousands of people had set the annual Urs festival at the time of the explosions.
Sufism has been widely used in Pakistan for hundreds of years –anlysts say that has a following much larger than the hardline Taliban version of Islam.
Devotees perform singing and dancing and praying to the saints who are honored with numerous shrines.
His beliefs are considered non-Islamic hardliners, who have addressed several times their sanctuaries.
Last October, a suicide bombing at a shrine in the Punjab province left six people dead.
And earlier this year a suicide attack on a shrine in Lahore killed at least 42 people, which is such attack deadliest in history.
For decades, the government also has tried to suppress Sufism, and has put under strict control.
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