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52 dead in Pakistani shrine bombing

By
Amy R. Connolly and Eric DuVall
At least 30 people are dead and some 100 were injured when a bomb detonated at a popular shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan province, officials said. Map from Google Maps
At least 30 people are dead and some 100 were injured when a bomb detonated at a popular shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan province, officials said. Map from Google Maps

KARACHI, Pakistan, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- At least 52 people are dead and some 100 were injured when a bomb detonated at a popular shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan province, officials said.

The bombing took place at the Shah Noorani shrine, located outside Karachi, where worshippers had gathered in honor of a local saint.

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The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan Interior Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed the blast in which "several" people were killed, including children. Other officials put the death toll at 40 people. Some were killed as people rushed away from the blast, official said.

Emergency workers had difficulty reaching the shrine for rescue operations because it is in a mountainous region with limited access. A charity group dispatched some 50 ambulances to the area that ferried the wounded to the nearest hospitals in Karachi, some 60 miles away, according to the BBC.

The worshippers were practicing the Sufi branch of Islam, a mystical branch that embraces a tolerant worldview and is opposed by extremist groups. Hundreds of Sufi Muslims were performing a traditional trance-like dance known as a dhamal when the bomb went off. The ritual is performed each night at the shrine at sunset.

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