Pak Taliban claims suicide blast at Sufi Shrine in Lahore that killed 10

+100%-

Lahore, May 8: A suicide blast at one of Pakistan’s oldest and most popular Sufi shrines killed at least 10 people and wounded 24 in the eastern city of Lahore Wednesday, police said, in an attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.
The blast — which a faction of the terrorist group claimed by email — occurred near the entrance gate for female visitors to the 11th-century Data Darbar shrine, one of the largest Sufi shrines in South Asia, as the country marks the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Husks of vehicles littered the pavement near the shrine as first responders rushed to the scene while armed security forces fanned out in the area.
The shrine has long been home to colourful Sufi festivals and a prime destination for the country’s myriad Muslim sects, making it a soft target for terrorist attacks.
It has been targeted previously, in a 2010 suicide attack which killed more than 40 people.
Since then the area has been increasingly hemmed in by heavy security, with visitors forced to pass through several layers of screening before they can enter the complex.
Sufi worshippers, who follow a mystical strain of Islam, have frequently been the target of bloody attacks in Pakistan by Islamist terrorists — including the Islamic State group — who consider Sufi beliefs and rituals at the graves of Muslim saints as heresy.
Senior police official Muhammad Ashfaq told a press conference that the security personnel at the shrine were targeted.
Three police officials, two security guards and five civilians including a child were among the dead, Punjab province chief minister Usman Buzdar said.
Pakistan’s push against extremism was stepped up after the country’s deadliest ever attack, an assault on a school in Peshawar in 2014 that left more than 150 people dead — mostly children. (Agencies)