Pakistan steps up security after string of attacks

Pakistan has closed two of its border crossings and asked Kabul to hand over 76 terrorists following a suicide attack at a crowded Sufi shrine that killed around 75 peopl
By Jose Jefferies | Feb 18, 2017
Pakistan has closed two of its border crossings and asked Kabul to hand over 76 terrorists following a suicide attack at a crowded Sufi shrine that killed around 75 people.

The attack which took place on Thursday, is the deadliest in Pakistan since 2014, and took place during a ritual at the shrine in Sehwan in the southern Sindh province, injuring hundreds. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the blastvia its Amaq propaganda website.

 

The shrine was built in 1356 and hosts the tomb of Syed Muhammad Usman Marwandi, the Sufi philosopher, poetbetter known as Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, one of Pakistan's most venerated saints.

Thursday's attack is the latest in a series of blasts across Pakistan since Monday, when 13 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a rally in the eastern city of Lahore. Another attack followed on Wednesday by a suicide bomber at a government office in the Mohmand tribal area and a suicide attack on government employees in Peshawar, killing six people.

On Tuesday two police officers were killed while attempting to defuse a bomb in the Balochistan provincial capital of Quetta.

A statement from the paramilitary Rangers said that at least 18 terrorists had been killed in operations in Sindh which were done overnight, while police officials said 11 more had been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The second major border crossing at Chaman, which leads to Kandahar in Afghanistan from the Pakistani city of Quetta, was closed on Friday after the Torkham border was sealed off late on Thursday.

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