KARACHI: Two suicide bombers blew themselves up inside the crowded shrine of Sufi saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi at Clifton, killing at least ten people and injuring more than five on Thursday. Rescue sources said dead bodies of ten people were shifted to Jinnah Medical Center where emergency has been declared. More than 50 injured people have been shifted to Jinnah hospital, Seemi Jamali, in-charge emergency ward of the hospital said.
The first blast took place when a suicide bomber blew himself up at central gate of the Shrine while the second attacker blew himself minutes later outside the shrine, damaging number of shops. Eyewitnesses said subsequent stampede injured dozens of people including women and children. They were seemed crying out for the help.
Edhi and other rescue teams arrived at the scene and rushed the injured to hospitals. Heavy contingents of police and Rangers cordoned off the area. The shrine was fully packed with people at the time of blast as women and children usually come to visit the mausoleum on Thursday.
The tomb of Abdullah Shah Ghazi is located at perched on a hilltop overlooking Clifton Beach, Karachi. Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s tomb attracts a steady stream of devotees who shuffle forward to caress the silver railing around the burial place and drape it with garlands of flowers.
Officials say the blasts were suicide attacks while the bomb disposal squad has also claimed to have recovered heads and body parts of the two alleged suicide attackers.
The Minister for Interior Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, confessing security laps in the incident, ordered to seal the shrines across the city. Security has been beefed up across the city.
Several attacks have targeted Pakistan’s mosques and shrines in recent years, many of them blamed on militant groups. Some 38 people were killed on July 1,2010 in triple suicide bombing at Data Darbar in Lahore. Syed Abdullah Shah Ghazi was a ninth-century Sufi who is believed to be a patron saint of Karachi. People, most of them Muslims, come here to pay homage to him from across the country.
Secretary Auqaf Sindh said that they have not received any security threat from the Interior Ministry and there were no security cameras installed inside the shrine. He also said that the Auqaf Department has deployed its own security guards which were killed in the attacks. Meanwhile, Sindh Home Minister Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza told media men after the blast that all shrines in the metropolis have bean sealed.-SANA