An injured man talks on the phone at a hospital after a bomb explosion in the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine on Thursday, February 16, 2017.
Â At least 75 people were killed in a suicide attack Thursday at Pakistan’s packed Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in the southern city of Sehwan in Sindh province, according to a local hospital official.
All the dead and injured were taken to the nearby 100-bed Sehwan Hospital, which was overwhelmed the sudden influx of patients, Dr. Zahid Hussain told news men. More than 200 people were injured in the attack, and many had been transferred to bigger hospitals in other cities of Sindh province, he further said.
Thousands of worshipers, including families with their children, had gathered at the more than 800-year-old shrine for the Sufi ritual of Dhamal, which involves music, chanting and prayer.
In a phone call, The Islamic State Khorasan, ISIS’ affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack. According to The Amaq news agency, an affiliate of ISIS, the attack was carried out in an explosive vest by a suicide bomber.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called the attack “brutal.”
“I have directed all the state institutions to mobilize all resources for rescue and relief after this brutal terror attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.
The spokesman for the Pakistani military blamed operatives from Afghanistan for a recent spate of attacks on the country.
The attack comes days after aÂ bomb exploded during a protest in Lahore, Pakistan, days before, killing at least 14 people and injuring 59 more, according to government spokesman Malik Ahmad Khan.