Death toll in Pak Sufi shrine attack rises to 22

Devotees gather around the bodies of blast victims after a suicide bombing near a sufi shrine in the Gandawa area of Jhal Magsi district of Balochistan

The bombing took place at the entrance of the shrine, Dargah Fatehpur, in the Jhal Magsi district of the volatile province, as scores of people had gathered for Thursday's prayers that were to follow the "dhamaal".

The blast site is about 400 kilometers southeast of Quetta, the provincial capital. ISIS' affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Islamic State of Khorasan, claimed responsibility for that attack. "The bomber had tried to enter the shrine but a police constable stopped him at the gate, after which he detonated his explosives", Mohammad Iqbal, the district's top police official, said.

A spokesperson for the police said that investigations were still under way.

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Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said the shrine was holding its annual Urs and hundreds of devotees from all over the country had come to pay their respects. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said the military had received credible reports of upcoming terror attacks.

Ghasemi, Spokesman of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shared sympathies with Pakistani nation, government and victims' families adding "these brutal attacks are aimed at causing insecurity in Pakistan and spearing sedition and religious disputes". At the time, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian Sunni extremist group, claimed the bombings in Parachinar, which is a majority Shiite town. In March, 2005, at least 35 people were killed when a suicide bomber exploded himself at the shrine.

Baluchistan, which shares a border with Sindh province, has also been the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists and separatists demanding more autonomy and a greater share in the region's natural resources such as gas and oil.

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