49 killed in blast at Shia mosque in Pakistan

Blast at a Shia mosque in southern Pakistan kills at least 49 people and injures at least 50

Blast at a Shia mosque in southern Pakistan kills at least 49 people and injures at least 50

KARACHI – At least 49 people have been killed and 50 injured in a blast at a Shia mosque in southern Pakistan on Friday, according to doctors. 

The majority of victims have been idenfitied, according to a list of fatalities issued by the Civil Hospital in Shikarpur, the district where the attack occurred. 

The blast occured during Friday prayers but the nature of the attack was unknown, with some eyewitnesses telling local media that a woman in a black gown blew herself up while a senior police official told The Anadolu Agency that it was a remote control explosion.

Local police speculated that the attack may have been carried out by a suicide bomber targeting the Friday prayers at the Shia mosque. 

Dr. Shaukat Memon, the head of the local government hospital, told AA that at least 50 people were injured. 

He said more dead and injured have been brought to the hospital and that many of the injured are in critical condition. 

Eyewitnesses said that around 600 people were present at the time of the blast. 

The blast caused the roof of the main prayer hall to collapse and the site was strewn with blood, glass and the clothing of the victims. 

District hospitals have struggled to cope with the numbers of dead and injured and many have had to be treated on wooden benches or on the hospital floor.

Army troops were called to join civilian rescue workers who dug through the debris searching for bodies and the injured.

Local residents, including Sunnis, also rushed to the scene to assist in the rescue operations, eyewitnesses said.

Majlis-e-Wahdat Muslimin, a conglomerate of different Shia groups in Pakistan, has announced three days of mourning across Pakistan.

This was the second blast at a Shia Mosque in a month in Pakistan, where there is a three-decade history of sectarian violence between the Sunni-majority and Shia-minority Muslim communities.

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