TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – An explosion claimed by the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group ripped through a Muslim shrine in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least 52 people and wounding scores, officials said.
The blast at Shah Noorani shrine occurred while hundreds of people were inside, local district commissioner Hashim Ghalzai told Reuters.
Provincial Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said 43 people were killed and Ghalzai said more than 100 were wounded. However, according to latest reports, the death toll from the blast has jumped to 52.
"Every day, around sunset, there is a dhamaal (ritual ceremony) here, and there are large numbers of people who come for this," said Nawaz Ali, the shrine's custodian.
The shrine is located in Baluchistan province about 100 km (60 miles) north of the port city of Karachi, to where rescue official Hakeem Nasi told Geo TV dozens of wounded were being moved.
The government dispatched 25 ambulances from the nearby town of Hub to the shrine, said Akbar Harifal, provincial home secretary for Baluchistan.
The army was called in to assist with rescue operations, given the remoteness of the site, Bugti said.
It was not clear if the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber or a planted device, according to Bugti.
Daesh said in a statement via its Amaq news agency that its militants had carried out Saturday's bombing.
The terrorist group also claimed responsibility for the last major attack in the province, at a police academy last month that killed around 60 people.