Pakistan launches massive huntdown after blast
Pakistan has launched nationwide security raids following a deadly bomb attack on a Sufi shrine in the southeast of country, arresting and killing dozens of suspects.
Security forces killed at least 39 suspected terrorists during overnight operations across the country, hours after a terrorist bombing carried out by Daesh killed at least 80 people, including 20 children, and injured some 250 more in the city of Sehwan in Sindh Province.
At least 18 of the suspects were killed in Sindh, while 11 others were gunned down in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, police officials said.
Weapons and hand-grenades were recovered in the Reggi area of the city of Peshawar, where other terrorist suspects were killed. At least 47 suspects were also arrested during the overnight raids.
The Thursday evening blast occurred as a large number of people gathered at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine for a special Sufi ritual. According to security officials, the bomber entered the main hall of the shrine and detonated his explosives in the middle of the crowd.
On Friday, a funeral was held for some of the victims of the terrorist attack by their families and friends.
“Every eye is weeping. Proper security was not there. We had been telling the endowment department and the other officials that there was no security, and that anything could happen any time, but nobody listened. Now the perpetrators were able to take lives,” said Syed Shuja, a cousin of one victim.
A security official said the operations would continue in the coming days.
Pakistan has been witnessing violent terrorist attacks over the past decade. Militants with the Pakistani Taliban have largely been blamed for the violence, but responsibility for the Thursday bombing was claimed by Daesh.