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Taliban claims responsibility in blasts at shrine in Pakistan

By the CNN Wire Staff
Pakistani volunteers shift an injured blast victim to a hospital in Karachi.
Pakistani volunteers shift an injured blast victim to a hospital in Karachi.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for attack
  • At least 60 injured in the blast at the shrine of a Sufi saint
  • Karachi shrines are shut down for the time being
  • President Zardari condemns the act
RELATED TOPICS
  • Pakistan
  • Karachi

(CNN) -- The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibiilty for two explosions Thursday at a shrine in Karachi in which at least eight people were killed and dozens injured.

The suicide attack was launched at the shrine of a revered Sufi Muslim saint, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, said Zulfiqar Ali Mirza, interior minister of Sindh province. Mirza has ordered the closing of Karachi shrines until further notice.

Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, is located in Sindh province.

Saghir Ahmed, Sindh's health minister, told CNN that the victims have been brought to hospitals in Karachi and 60 people are being treated for injuries. Authorities said crews were sifting through human remains at the site.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attack.

"The relentless attacks on ordinary Pakistani citizens by those who want to impose an extremist mindset and lifestyle upon our country will not deter our government and the Pakistan Peoples Party," a statement from Zardari's office said.

"We remain committed to fighting these murderers and expelling them from our land."

The attack occurred Thursday night, the busiest time at the shrine because it's the eve of Muslim Friday prayers. Karachi and Sindh residents make pilgrimages to the shrine to offer prayers.

Thursday night also is when people distribute free food to the poor, an act that is one of the five pillars of Islam.

 
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