Bloodbath in Baluchistan as bomb targets Sufi shrine

Bloodbath in Baluchistan as bomb targets Sufi shrine
At least 43 people have died and many more seriously injured after a bomb ripped through a crowd at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan's troubled Baluchistan province.
2 min read
12 November, 2016
Several attacks have targeted Pakistan's conflict-ridden Balochistan region [Getty]

At least 43 people have died and dozens injured when a bomb exploded at a remote Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan's Balochistan province on Saturday, officials said.

Hundreds were visiting the shrine when the blast exploded at the Shah Noorani shrine.

Local news reported dozens of the wounded were taken to the nearby town of Hub and the southern city of Karachi.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, however, mineral-rich but impoverished Balochistan - Pakistan's largest province - is beset by sectarian strife.

Violence from Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants and an on-off separatist insurgency has plagued the province for decades.

Sunnis - as well as Shia Muslims - are viewed as heretical by Sunni extremists such as the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda.

Pakistan has seen an uptick in violence from IS militants and the Taliban in recent months.

Last month, militants stormed a police academy in the southwest of the country killing at least 60 people and wounding over a hundred, officials said, days after declaring a military counter-operation was finished.

The army has repeatedly been accused by international rights groups of abuses in Balochistan, particularly against nationalists demanding autonomy and a greater share of the region's resources.

Pakistan has been battling an Islamist insurgency since shortly after it decided to ally with the US following its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Violence has declined in recent years following a series of military offensives in the northwest border areas as well as concerted efforts to block the militants' sources of funding.

But the remnants of militant groups are still able to carry out periodic bloody attacks, particularly in the northwest.