Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine

Thursday's attack was the deadliest in Pakistan following the December 16, 2014 assault on an army-run school in Peshawar that killed 154 people, mostly schoolchildren.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday strongly condemned the terror attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and expressed grief over the lose of precious lives. "Each drop of the nation's blood will be avenged, and avenged immediately".

"We condemn the terrorist attack on worshippers at a Sufi shrine in Sehwan", Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq said in a statement.

Police security was heightened at all major shrines of the province following the suicide bomb attack on the shrine of Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan Sharif, Sindh.

During the evening of February 16, 2017, a suicide bomber attacked the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Pakistan.

An army offensive launched in 2014 aimed to push militants out of their strongholds near the Afghan border but terrorist groups are now competing with each other after Isis launched the "Khorasan Province" in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2015.

As The Washington Post notes, the shrine blast is the latest incident in what has been a particularly deadly week for Pakistan, which has been buffeted by attacks not only from ISIS, but also Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a Taliban splinter group which has promised a campaign of violence against government buildings.

The army also said cross-border attacks on a checkpoint saw an unknown number of attackers killed. Security sources say Thursday's attack was Baghdad's deadliest in months, according to BBC.

Isis also claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on police cadets in the city of Quetta previous year, thought to be a joint operation with various jihadi groups.

But critics have repeatedly warned that the crackdown does not address the root causes of extremism, and homegrown groups like the Pakistani Taliban can still carry out spectacular assaults.

Raja Somro, who witnessed the attack, told a local TV network that hundreds of people were performing a spiritual dance known as the "dhamal" when the bomber struck.

Meanwhile, Geo News reported that at least 30 people were killed and dozens of others were injured after a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up near the gate of the shrine. "But we can't let these events divide us, or scare us", he said. "We must stand united in this struggle for the Pakistani identity, and universal humanity", he added. The Islamic State killed 52 people later that year in an attack on a Muslim shrine.



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