Balochistan

At least 65 killed in blast at Shah Noorani shrine in Hub

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HUB: At least 65 people were killed while over 100 others were injured when a blast struck Shah Noorani shrine in Balochistan’s Hub tehsil on Saturday evening, ARY News reported.

The blast hit worshippers participating in a ceremony at the shrine of the Sufi saint Shah Noorani, some 750 kilometres (460 miles) south of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

Interior Minister Balochistan Sarfraz Bugti claimed that at least 52 people have been killed in the deadly blast while 105 others are injured. Earlier Bugti had confirmed at least 43 deaths.

Answering a question, Bugti maintained that a helicopter cannot be sent to the blast site to rescue injured victims from the mountainous area due to lack of proper light.

shah-noorani


A woman warned ‘go away or suffer’

An eye witness, a woman told ARY News that a woman told men at the shrine to ‘go downstairs or suffer’, as menfolk went downstairs a blast occured.

“The noise was so huge that even the roof started to shake,” said the eye witness


Interior Ministry has formed a control room to deal with the situation- for help and information one can contact on these numbers 0819-2021100, 819-201002 or Fax:0819-201835.

At least four injured were taken to Hub hospital while 30 critically injured were brought to Karachi’s C. The death toll may increase as the hospital is at least 150 kilometers away from the shrine.

EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT

Army and civil rescue teams have reached the spot and are shifting injured victims to hospitals.

Colonel Junaid from Frontier Corps expressed fear that the blast could be a suicide attack.

Dr Hakeem Lassi of Edhi Foundation earlier told ARY News that hundreds of people including women and children are injured in the blast.  He added that the foundation’s 50 ambulances have reached the spot and are carrying out the rescue work.

Secretary Health Sindh had earlier confirmed that at least 45 injured are being brought to Karachi for medical treatment. Hospitals in the city are on high alert.

450 people at shrine from Karachi

ARY News reporter Farooq Sami reached Karachi’s Civil Hospital and reported that at least 7 people were brought to the hospital and preparations are being made to shift more wounded to the facility.

The correspondent further claimed that out of thousands visiting the shrine today, 450 people were only from Karachi.

‘Absence’ of security cover

ARY News Quetta Bureau Chief Shahid Rind maintained that the area is considered a B area and Levies force is deployed for security.

Rind claimed that when he visited the shrine last time, he observed that three to four levies personnel were present outside the shrine and a routine security check was conducted before entry.

The shrine is located in a mountainous area making communication and rescue work more difficult. Landlines are rare and cellphone service is not available in the area.

Army ‘to the rescue’

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif ordered maximum assistance for evacuation and on-spot medical treatment of the injured victims of the blast.

ISPR spokesperson Asim Bajwa said that troops and medical teams are reaching the blast site from Karachi, Khuzdar.

Later Bajwa informed that 50 soldiers with two medical teams arrived on site while two helicopters from Quetta will soon reach and will attempt landing at the site.

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE

Interior Minister Balochistan speaks

Talking to ARY News, Interior Minister Balochistan Sarfraz Bugti condemned the incident and claimed that the government’s focus is on the rescue operation. He added that ambulances from Hub and Khuzdar have been sent to the blast site for the purpose.

Later, while talking to media, Bugti claimed that at least 43 people have been killed in the deadly blast.

Sindh government has  declared emergency in Karachi’s hospitals for injured pilgrims who are to be brought for treatment.

The shrine of Hazrat Baba Shah Noorani is more than 500years old and people from all over the country come to visit the place to pay respect to the saint.

The shrine is located in Khuzdar district, some 760 kilometers (472 miles) south of provincial capital Quetta.

Condolences pour in 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned blast in Dargah Shah Noorani, Hub.

He expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of innocent lives in the blast. The PM prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and grant of courage to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss.

The premier directed the concerned authorities at the federal and provincial levels to bring the perpetrators to task immediately.

He directed for expediting rescue activities and save the lives of those injured during the blast while extending best medical treatment to them.

The prime minister prayed for swift recovery of the injured.

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari too condemned the terrorist bomb blast resulting in martyrdom of innocent pilgrims.

“From schools to hospitals and mosques to Dargahs, terrorists are hitting at every innocent target and killing the people like hunters do to birds. Shah Noorani terrorist bomb blast shows that nation needs unity to fight the cancer of terrorism without any delinquency on any one’s part,” PPP Chairman said in a statement.

He expressed deep shock at the losses of innocent lives and sympathized with those who lost their near and dear ones.

“This high time that all our energies should be directed towards the implementation of Nation Action Plant with full force instead of immature approaches being adopted by some government functionaries who talk against terrorism less and target opposition leaders more,” he added.

 

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