Pakistan: IS attack on Sufi shrine in Sindh kills dozens

The injured have been taken to a local hospital

The injured have been taken to a local hospital

A suicide attack in a popular shrine in southern Pakistan has killed at least 72 people, police say.

The bomber blew himself up among devotees in the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan, in Sindh province, police said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the attack, which has been claimed by so-called Islamic State.

A surge of attacks this week has shattered a period of improving security in Pakistan.

The shrine was crowded as Thursday is considered a sacred day for Muslims to pray there.

The blast, in one of the country’s most revered shrines, is the deadliest in a string of bombings in Pakistan this week, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban and other Islamist militants.

The Edhi Welfare Trust, which runs the country’s largest ambulance service, said 43 of the dead were men, nine women and 20 children.

At least 250 others were wounded, a senior police official told the BBC. The only hospital in the area was said to be overwhelmed.

The critically injured were being sent by ambulance to Jamshoro and Hyderabad, some two hours away. The military said navy helicopters capable of flying at night would be sent to airlift the critically injured.

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