Suicide Bombers Targets Sufi Shrine In Karachi, Killing Seven, Wounding Dozens

Pakistani security officials collect evidence from blast site after two bomb explosions at the entrance of the shrine to Sufi saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi.
Pakistani security officials collect evidence from blast site after two bomb explosions at the entrance of the shrine to Sufi saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi. Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday nights, devotees flock to Sufi shrines across Pakistan. Islamic fundamentalists consider shrines to be idolatrous.

Pakistani TV channels showed pools of blood and heaps of clothes on the floor of the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine, which honors the patron saint of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city.

According to NPR's Anthony Kuhn, ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals as police cordoned off the area. They say two suicide bombers are responsible for the explosions, which killed at least seven people.

"Thursday night is when hundreds of devotees normally throng the Sufi shrine," Kuhn explains. "Sunni and Shia Muslims alike come to the shrine to listen to Qawali devotional music, make wishes, and lay flowers at the tomb of the saint."

Islamic fundamentalists consider shrines to be idolatrous. Earlier this year, suicide bombers killed more than 40 worshipers in an attack on a shrine to the patron saint of Lahore.

An Associated Press reporter spoke to Hassam Uddin, who witnessed the bombing. He said "the two blasts occurred near the main entrance of the shrine's compound before the metal detector, and that he saw 18 to 20 critically wounded people lying on the ground." Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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