Over 50 killed in Pakistan Shia mosque attack

Islamabad: More than 50 people were killed and around 50 others injured Friday when a suicide bomber ripped through a Shia mosque in Pakistan's Shikarpur district, media reports said.

Quoting unknown hospital sources, Dunya TV said that a teenager suicide bomber blew up himself in the mosque where around 400 people were offering Friday prayers.

According to the bomb disposal squad, at least 5 kg of explosives along ball bearings were used in the bomb and it was detonated with a remote-controlled device.

District superintendent of police of Shikarpur, a district in the northern part of Sindh province in Pakistan, said the explosion took place at about 1:40 p.m. in Lakhi Dar area of the district, according to Xinhua.

Following the blast, roof of the mosque also collapsed trapping several people inside who were later shifted to hospital.

Police and rescue teams rushed to the site and shifted the bodies and injured to the district hospital in the city.

On the directives of Provincial Health Minister Jam Mehtab, severely injured people were shifted to hospitals in nearby Larkana and Sukkur districts for better medical treatment.

Inter-Services Public Relations, the mouthpiece of Pakistani army, said in a statement that the military dispatched four ambulances and several army doctors to Shikarpur for the treatment of the injured people.

The bomb attack took place at a time when Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was chairing a meeting on the law and order situation in southern port city of Karachi, the capital of Sindh province.

Sharif condemned the bomb attack and sought a report on it.

He also directed the concerned departments to provide the best possible medical treatment to the injured people.

On the prime minister's directives, 40 critically injured people in the hospitals will be airlifted to Karachi.

Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), a representative group of Shia Muslims in the country, announced three days of mourning, describing the incident a failure of the government.

The MWM also held a sit-in in Karachi to protest against the massive sectarian killings. A large number of women and children took part in the sit-in.

The protesters blocked a main highway in the city, disrupting the road traffic.

Media reports said the banned outfit Jandullah, a splinter group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The spokesperson of Jundallah, the militant group of Sunni Muslims which pledged its support to the Islamic State last year, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

President Mamnoon Hussain, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain also issued messages condemning the incident.

It is the second major attack on a Shia mosque in the country since the beginning of 2015. The first was an attack on Rawalpindi's imambargah Aun Mohammad Rizvi in the garrison city's Chatian Hatian area.

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