By Aamir Latif
At least 52 people have been killed and over 100 injured by a massive blast at a shrine in southwestern Pakistan on Saturday evening, said local officials.
The blast occurred at the shrine of Sufi saint Shah Noorani located in the remote Lasbela district of southwestern Balochistan province, which is visited annually by thousands from across Pakistan.
Sohail Rehman, Deputy Commissioner of the Khuzdar district, confirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. Local Geo TV reported the attack has been claimed by Syria-based militant group Daesh.
President Mamnoon Hussain, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have condemned the terrorist attack.
Hakeem Laasi, an official from Edhi Foundation, a humanitarian relief agency engaged in the rescue operation, said many injured succumbed to their wounds as they could not be shifted to the hospital in time due to the remoteness of the site.
Several people were killed and injured due to a stampede caused by the blast, he said, adding that scores of injured were transported to the hospital in private vehicles by visitors who survived the attack.
Rescue teams had faced difficulties in due to darkness and the mountainous nature of the site. Visitors generally have to walk and climb a hill to reach the shrine.