Police say 4 killed, 20 wounded in twin explosions at Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Police: Blasts kill 4 at Sufi shrine in Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan — Two explosions hit a famed Sufi shrine in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Thursday, killing at least four people and wounding 20 others, police said.

The exact cause of the blasts were not immediately clear, but Pakistani shrines and mosques have frequently been attacked by Islamist militant groups wreaking havoc on the South Asian nation, a key U.S. ally. Thursday’s blasts appeared to echo a twin suicide bombing at a well-known Sufi shrine in the eastern city of Lahore earlier this year.

Police official Jam Tariq said the blasts occurred in Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine compound in the evening Thursday, a time of the week when the site is particularly crowded.

TV footage showed pools of blood at the scene, while people helped two wounded victims get to an ambulance. Police were cordoning off the area. A young boy with blood-stained clothes cried for help in a police vehicle.

A witness, Hassam Uddin, said two blasts occurred near the main entrance before the electronic walk-through gate, and that he saw 18 to 20 critically wounded people lying on the ground.

Abdullah Shah Ghazi was an 8th century saint credited with bringing Islam to the coastal region.

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