KHUZDAR: The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for suicide attack in Shah Noorani’s shrine that left more than 60 people and over 120 wounded near Khuzdar city of Balochistan.
The IS said in a statement claimed the attack via Amaq, its affiliated news agency.
“35 dead and 95 wounded Shiite visitors in a martyrdom operation attack by the Islamic State fighter that targeted a shrine in a city in Balochistan,” the agency said.
The jihadist group also claimed responsibility for the last major attack in the province, at a police academy last month, that killed around 60 people.
Muslim shrines have often been targeted by militant groups, many of whom adhere to a strict interpretation of Islam that regards veneration of saints at shrines such as Shah Noorani as heresy.
Baluchistan is also a key link in a $46 billion transport and trade corridor between Pakistan and China, which hinges on a deep-water port in the southwestern city of Gwadar.
In August, a suicide bombing at a Quetta hospital claimed by the Islamic State group and a faction of the Pakistani Taliban killed 73 people.
Reports said IS, which had earlier struggled to gain a foothold in Pakistan because of competition from already established groups, has now forged alliances with local affiliates including the anti-Shiite Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group. – Samaa/Agencies