–Death toll reaches 21
KARACHI: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) also known as Daesh on Friday claimed the responsibility for the bombing at Pir Rakhel Shah Shrine in Jhal Magsi district of Balochistan that saw 20 people dead and several others wounded.
Officials and doctors had expressed fear that the death toll might soar in view of the critical condition of many injured. One of them succumbed to his injuries on Friday at Chandka Medical College Hospital in Larkana, pushing the death toll to 21.
A suicide bomber had blown himself up at the entrance of the Sufi shrine minutes before the sunset on Thursday when hundreds of devotees had gathered for a religious congregation.
Last week, the Foreign Office denied the organised presence of ISIS in the country, saying that Pakistan remains immune to IS, while in July, ISPR Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor said that there was no presence of the ISIS in Pakistan and intelligence-based operations had dismantled the organised terror network in the country.
Pakistan has repeatedly denied the presence of the IS in the country while it does acknowledge the presence of the outfit in Afghanistan with apprehension. Over the past year, the country witnessed a number of incidents where ISIS pamphlets had appeared and then the very recent emergence of IS flag in Islamabad adds salt to the injury. On September 24, an IS flag, inscribed with ‘Khilafat is Coming’ emerged at Islamabad’s main artery under the nose of Safe City security cameras and police. Despite the passage of almost 14 days, law enforcement agencies remain clueless about the suspects. This was not the first time such incident happened, in past pamphlets and ISIS material had surfaced in KP and other areas of Punjab.
However, since 2016, Pakistan has been facing a growing threat of attacks from the ISIS, which claimed responsibility for several suicide attacks, including the Thursday’s bomb attack at the Jhal Magsi shrine.
In October 2017, a suicide bomber attack blows himself at the gate of the Pir Rakhel Shah Shrine in Jhal Magsi killing at least 21 and injured over two dozen. The attack too was claimed by the ISIS.
In May 2017, in an attack on Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in Balochistan, at least 25 people were killed and over 40 other people were injured in the blast. The blast hit a convoy carrying Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri as he was returning from a religious school in Mastung. The ISIS claimed the responsibility for the attack.
In February 2017, at least 72 people were been killed and over 200 injured in suicide bombing at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan town of Sindh. IS-affiliated AMAQ reported that the Islamic State was behind the attack.
In October 2016, cadets at a police training academy in Pakistan awoke to the horror of suicide bomb-wielding terrorists that killed 61 and injured 117. The IS claimed responsibility for the attack.
In August 2016, Pakistani Taliban and the ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at a hospital in Quetta, which killed at least 70 people and injured some 120 more.