Bomb Attack At Pakistan Shrine Kills 5

by
staphni
"(LATIMES)
A bomb planted on a motorcycle killed five people Monday at a famed Sufi shrine in central Pakistan, the third terrorist attack at one of the country's many such shrines in four months.

The latest attack occurred at the Baba Farid shrine in the town of Pakpattan in Punjab province, about 120 miles southwest of the eastern city of Lahore. A crowd had gathered about 6:20 a.m. for early prayers when the bomb exploded, said Shafiq Dogar, a Pakpattan senior administration official. ""Two people parked the motorcycle near the eastern gate of the shrine, and the bomb was inside one of two milk cans on the motorcycle,"" Dogar said. ""The blast happened soon after the two people left.""

Police said the people who left the motorcycle by the shrine were pretending to sell milk. At least 14 people were injured in the blast. Dogar said security at the shrine was tight, particularly in the wake of other recent attacks on Sufi shrines.

Islamic militant groups regard the Sufi practice of Islam to be tantamount to heresy. Shrines and mosques affiliated to nonorthodox sects have been frequent targets of the Pakistani Taliban, the country's homegrown insurgency, and Sunni Muslim extremist groups such as Sipah-e-Sahaba.

In July, twin suicide blasts killed 42 people visiting Pakistan's most popular Sufi shrine, Data Darbar, in Lahore. This month, two suicide bombers attacked crowds visiting a shrine in the country's largest city, Karachi, killing at least eight people and wounding 65. The blasts in Karachi targeted a large gathering at a shrine for Abdullah Shah Ghazi, a revered 8th century Sufi Muslim saint.

Earlier in the year, a team of gunmen and suicide bombers killed 93 people in attacks on two mosques belonging to the minority Ahmadi sect. Several terrorist attacks this year have also targeted the country's Shiite Muslim minority."