Islamic State-claimed bomb kills 70 at Pakistan shrine
- 'Like judgement day' -Local resident Haq Nawaz Khan Solangi said he and his friends were sipping tea at a stall some distance from the shrine when they heard the blast but thought it could be a tyre bursting. "But soon our phones started ringing that there was a bomb blast at shrine and we rushed towards it. When we reached there, we thought that it was the judgement day as bodies were lying everywhere in the pool of blood," Solangi said. "Some bodies had no heads, limbs or feet and those who were wounded were crying with pain and calling for help," he said. Emergency services are basic in Sehwan, with the nearest main hospital some 130 kilometers away. "Many wounded people are in critical condition and they will be shifted to Karachi as soon as Navy helicopters and C-130 plane reach nearest airport," Inspector General of Police for Sindh province A.D. Khawaja told AFP.
- 'Cowardly' -"To attack peaceful worshippers in one of their sacred spaces is shameful and cowardly," US ambassador David Hale said in a statement, while the European Union expressed its condolences to the victims. Pakistanis vented their anger and grief on social media, with users calling the shrine a "capital of spirituality" and a "seat of interfaith harmony." Pakistan has seen a dramatic improvement in security in the past two years, but a series of attacks this week -- most claimed by the Pakistani Taliban -- has undermined the growing sense of optimism. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, said it had carried out a suicide bombing in Lahore which killed 13 people and wounded dozens more Monday, days after the group had vowed to launch a fresh offensive. Police and troops were also hit in attacks Thursday before and after the shrine bombing. An IED struck a military convoy in Balochistan, killing three soldiers, while gunmen on motorcycles killed four policemen and a civilian in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan. Four suicide bombers had struck northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six people and unnerving civilians further. "The past few days have been hard, and my heart is with the victims. But we can't let these events divide us, or scare us," Sharif said in his statement. "We have faced tougher circumstances, and still persevered." The attacks underscore Pakistan's struggle to stamp out extremism, which was stepped up after the country's deadliest ever attack, a Pakistani Taliban assault on a school in Peshawar in 2014 which left more than 150 people dead -- mostly children.