Karachi mourns attack on Sufi shrine



Karachi: Pakistan's commercial hub Karachi Friday descended into mourning, a day after Taliban suicide attacks targeted venerated Sufi shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi killing ten people, as vehicles remained off roads and shops downed shutters fearing violent protests.

The city wore a deserted look in many parts as people appeared to have responded to the call by religious parties and the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement to observe a three day mourning period for the victims of the bomb blasts.

Police officials said that one of the suicide bombers has been identified as Nasibullah from the tribal area of Dir.

Incidents of firing and burning of vehicles and petrol pumps in some parts of the city late last night created tension and also compelled people to keep their businesses shut and remain at home in many areas.

"We can't risk taking out our buses and coaches in these conditions there is a strike call basically so we have decided to also observe it," a senior member of the Karachi transport ittehad body said.

Ten people were killed in the blasts of low intensity while some 60 devotees were wounded at the shrine which sees a rush of people on Thursdays' who come to pay their homage and pray for the Sufi saint.

The shrine is located in the upmarket area of Clifton. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban has accepted responsibility for the blasts which were said to have been carried out by two youngmen aged between 17 and 18 years.

The blasts occurred last evening in quick succession at the entrance of the packed shrine considered to be patron saint of Karachi and is revered by millions of people.

The shrine is located in the upmarket area of Clifton in this Pakistan's financial capital was packed with thousands of devotees, who had gathered on Thursday, considered an auspicious day, to offer prayers and distribute langar (food).

Karachi which is Pakistan's financial capital and biggest city has been hit by a series of strike calls and mourning days in recent months given by different political and religious parties because of loss of lives as a result of terror attacks, sectarian clashes and target killings said to be the result of sectarian, ethnic and political differences among the parties.

PTI