88 People Killed in Pakistan Shrine Bombing

Pakistani soldiers cordon off the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine after the attack.

The death toll rose to 88 on Friday from a suicide attack targeting the packed Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in the southern city of Sehwan in Pakistan’s Sindh province, a health official told CNN.

Sindh Health Secretary Fazal Pecheho also said the number of people injured in Thursday’s attack had climbed to 200.

A local hospital official, Dr. Zahid Hussain, earlier told CNN that 24 of the dead were children aged four to eight. Another 16 of the victims were women, he said.

Thousands of worshipers, including families with their children, had gathered Thursday at the more than 800-year-old shrine for the Sufi ritual of Dhamal, which involves music, chanting and prayer.

The Islamic State Khorasan, ISIS’ affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to CNN.

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SOURCE: CNN, Sophia Saifi, Adeel Raja and Laura Smith-Spark