At least 8 people including police officials were killed and many others injured in a bomb blast that took off at the Data Darbar, a Sufi shrine in Lahore on Wednesday. The shrine is said to be one of the oldest in Pakistan and one of the largest in Asia.
The blast is expected to have targeted the police who were posted near the shrine for its security. The blast reportedly occurred at the entrance meant for women.
Investigation is underway and the police are yet to ascertain the nature of the blast if it was a suicide attack or if an IED was used to cause the explosion. No group has claimed responsibility immediately after the attack.
The video footage of the blast shows charred bodies surrounded by the debris of a police vehicle and rescue team removing the debris.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly condemned the attack. The Punjab government has called for an emergency meeting to review the situation. In the meantime, security was beefed up around other shrines in various cities.
The same Sufi shrine Data Darbar was attacked earlier in 2010 killing at least 40 people and injuring many others. Ever since the Sufi shrine was under surveillance amidst heavy security. Built in 11th century AD, Data Darbar houses the shrine of Saint Syed Ali bin OsmanAl-Hajvery also known as Data Ganj Bakhsh.
Pakistan is a Sunni dominated Islamic country. The extremist Muslims view Sufism and its offshoots which constitute a minority to be heretical and anti-Islam.