Blast at sufi shrine in Pak, 6 killed, 15 injured

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Islamabad:  A powerful bomb went off outside a sufi shrine packed with devotees in a city in Pakistan's central Punjab province on Monday, killing at least six persons, including two women, and injuring 15 others.

Two unidentified youths parked a motorcycle outside the gates of the shrine of Hazrat Baba Farid Gang-e-Shakkar, where some 300 people were present, in Pakpattan city and the blast occurred shortly thereafter at 6:20 am, witnesses said.

They said the duo fled the scene after leaving the motorcycle there.

Two women were among the six dead, police and civil administration officials said. Among the 15 injured also were eight women.

Several of the injured, who were in serious condition, were sent to hospitals in Lahore.

The blast, which severely damaged the walls and parts of the shrine's structure, occurred near a spot where the sitting arrangement had been made for women visiting the shrine.

Police said about 10kg of explosive was used in the blast.

Police evacuated the shrine, which was closed to visitors after the blast, and sealed off the area.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast, which was condemned by political leaders and top clerics.

The Taliban have been blamed for a series of bombings and suicide attacks targeting Sufi shrines in cities across Pakistan, including Lahore and Karachi. (Read: 10 killed in suicide attack at a shrine in Karachi)

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