Bomb blast at Islamabad shrine injures 40

2014-06-21 14:05
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Islamabad - More than 40 people were injured, some critically, when a bomb ripped through a Sufi shrine on the outskirts of Islamabad on Friday, officials said.

A police spokesperson said the explosion happened when food was being distributed to 200 devotees during annual celebrations at the shrine, which is situated around 14.5km northwest of the city.

"It was a low intensity blast of explosive materials below one pound," the spokesperson told AFP. "That's why it didn't cause much damage."

The injured were taken to two government-run hospitals in the capital and one in the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi.

"We received 30 patients most of whom have got minor injuries but five of them are in a critical condition as they have head injuries" a spokesperson for the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad said.

Muhammad Arshad, who had been discharged from PIMS, said: "I was waiting in the queue for food when I heard a bang and fell to the ground, people were screaming and I could not see anything but felt blood dripping down my face."

Pakistan is on high alert as its military pounds militant targets in restive North Waziristan near the Afghan border, part of a long-awaited operation against the Pakistani Taliban.

While thousands have been killed in insurgent violence in Pakistan in recent years, attacks on the capital, much of which is heavily guarded, have been rare.

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