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Friday Feb 17, 2017

Looming threats: Mazar-e-Quaid closed for visitors for two days


KARACHI: Authorities have closed Mazar-e-Quaid for visitors in view of persisting security threats in the country, officials confirmed on Friday, a day after bomb ripped through a Sufi shrine in interior Sindh leaving at least 88 people dead.

On Thursday, at least 88 people were martyred when a suicide bomber attacked the crowded Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, injuring up to 343 others, according to DG Health Services Sindh-Hyderabad.

The powerful blast took place inside the premises of the shrine as a dhamaal was taking place.

"The mausoleum in Karachi has been closed for two days," confirmed Resident Engineer Muhammad Arif. The citizens will not be able to visit the monument for the next two days.

The attack in Sehwan came as part of a recent wave of terrorist attacks in the country, and the fifth blast in less than a week targeting innocent people.

On February 15, three suicide bombers targeted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the adjoining tribal areas leaving around seven people dead. One of the incidents occurred in Peshawar where a suicide bomber riding a motorbike hit a vehicle carrying civil judges, while two other suicide bombers blew themselves up at separate locations in Mohmand Agency.

Earlier to theses, a suicide attack in Lahore on February 13 killed 14 people and wounded over 60 others.

On February 12, a cameraman, Taimur from Samaa News was killed when the channel’s DSNG van was attacked in Karachi.

'Attack on Pakistan's future'

In a statement, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decried the attack on the Sufi shrine.

"The past few days have been hard, and my heart is with the victims," Sharif said. "But we can't let these events divide us, or scare us. We must stand united in this struggle for the Pakistani identity, and universal humanity."

“Sufi saints played a major role in the foundation of Pakistan,” the prime minister said. “This is an attack on Pakistan’s future.”

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