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20 Killed in Suicide Blast at Jhal Magsi Shrine

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Quetta – At least 20 people, including two policemen, were killed and 40 others injured in a suicide blast at a shrine in Jhal Magsi district of Balochistan on Thursday evening.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of Dargah Fateh Pur in Gandawah area of Jhal Magsi at around 5:30 after the police guards stopped him from entering the premises.

Hundreds of devotees had gathered at the shrine for the annual urs celebration of Sufi saint Pir Rakhel Shah when the incident took place.

A heavy contingent of police reached the scene, cordoned off the area and launched an investigation.

The dead and injured were shifted to District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ), where a state of emergency was declared.

Several critical injured were later shifted to hospitals in Shahdad Kot Larkana, and Jacobabad.

The deceased include three children, two women and two policemen, identified as Abdul Kareem and Bahar Khan.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

It was the second suicide attack on Dargah Fateh Pur. On March 19, 2005, 50 people were killed and more than a hundred others injured in a bomb attack at the same shrine.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi, President Mamnoon Hussain, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Khan Zehri, State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mariam Ourangzaib, Punjab Governor Rafiq Rajwana, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani, deputy Chairman Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Hyderi, former president Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Teheek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and other political leaders have strongly condemned the attack on the shrine.

The PM and President, in their statements, expressed sympathy with the bereaved families and prayed for the quickest recovery of those injured.

They said such coward attacks could not deter nation’s resolve in the fight against terrorism.

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