Pakistan ‘kills 100 militants’ after blast in Sufi shrine

February 17, 2017 | By | Reply More

Pakistani forces said Friday they had killed more than 100 “terrorists” after 88 people died in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group on a Sufi shrine which stoked fears of a fresh surge in militancy.

pakistanThe devastating blast came after a series of bloody extremist assaults this week, including a powerful Taliban suicide bomb in the eastern city of Lahore which killed 13 people and wounded dozens.

Prime minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief of staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa Friday visited the town of Sehwan in Sindh province where the latest attack took place.

Sharif vowed to eliminate militants “with the full force of the state”.

Pakistan’s military later said operations were in progress across the country. “Over 100 terrorists have been killed since last night”, it said, adding others had been detained.

The emergence of Islamic State group (IS) and a Taliban resurgence would be a major blow to Pakistan, and the attacks have dented growing optimism over security after a decade-long war on militancy.

Police Friday cordoned off the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a 13th century Muslim saint, in Sehwan, some 200 kilometres (124 miles) northeast of financial hub Karachi.

Health officials said the number of people killed in the shrine blast had jumped to 88, including at least 20 children, making it the deadliest attack in Pakistan since a 2014 assault on a Peshawar school.

Islamabad has denied the presence of IS, despite several high-profile attacks and the group’s apparent affiliation with homegrown militants, such as the banned Sunni sectarian organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Gul also warned there are “visible signs” that factions of the umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP, or Pakistani Taliban), which is distinct from the Afghan Taliban, are regrouping after a military crackdown.

TTP faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed the Lahore attack on Monday, days after it announced a fresh offensive.

– ‘Intense’ wave of attacks –

On Wednesday four suicide bombers struck in one day in the tribal areas and on a van carrying judges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial capital Peshawar, killing six people in attacks also claimed by the TTP.

An IED attack in Balochistan which killed three soldiers Thursday unnerved Pakistanis further, while gunmen on motorcycles killed four policemen and a civilian in the northwest overnight Friday.

Rana predicted the “intense” wave of TTP attacks would continue, saying security forces had failed to crack the militants’ operational infrastructure, especially in cities.

Press journalist for HRO media – Khizer Hayat reports.

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Category: International

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