Police say the suicide bomber blew himself up at the gate to the shrine
Militants have targeted similar shrines because of their pluralistic interpretation of Islam
A suicide bomber has killed at least 18 people and wounded 26 others after blowing himself up at the gate to a religious shrine in a remote part of Pakistan, authorities told CNN.
The Sufi shrine – Sufism is more mystic interpretation of Islam – is located in a distant area of southwestern Balochistan in a town called Jhal Magsi. One police constable was among the dead, said police officer Muhammad Iqbal to CNN.
The dead also included three children, according to Asadullah Kakar, the deputy commissioner for Jhal Magsi.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abassi condemned the attack, saying in a statement that “terrorists have no religion.”
“We will not allow them to disturb our peace and values; they will be dealt with the full might of the state,” he added.
The Fateh Pur shrine is open to all sects of Islam to attend for worship. Worshipers had come to the shrine to mark Muharram, one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar and for Shiites a time to mourn one of their imams, or saints. Militants opposed to pluralist interpretations of Islam have targeted shrines like this in the past.
In a statement released by ISIS’ media wing, the Amaq news agency, the Islamic State of Khorasan claimed it had sent the bomber to strike the shrine in Jhal Magsi.
In February this year at least 75 people were killed in an attack on Pakistan’s Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in the southern city of Sehwan in Sindh province. ISIS’ affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Islamic State of Khorasan, claimed responsibility for that attack.