A powerful bomb tore through a busy Shi’ite mosque in southern Pakistan on Friday, killing more than 60 people in the country’s deadliest sectarian attack in nearly two years. The blast hit the mosque in Shikarpur in Sindh province, around 470 kilometres (300 miles) north of Karachi, as hundreds of worshippers attended Friday prayers. Sindh health Minister Jam Mehtab Daher told AFP that “the death toll from the attack has increased to 61.” “There are 54 bodies in Shikarpur hospital. Seven others died in Sukkur and Larkana hospitals,” he said. Hundreds of people rushed to the scene after the blast to try to dig out survivors trapped under the roof of the mosque, which collapsed in the explosion, witness Zahid Noon said. “The area is scattered with blood and flesh and it smells of burnt meat, people are screaming at each other. It is chaos,” Noon said.
Sainrakhio Mirani, police chief of the region said officers were still working to determine wether it was a suicide bombing or wether the 6-7 kilogramme(13-15 pounds) bomb was detonated remotely. It is the bloodiest single sectarian attack in Pakistan since March 2013, when a car bomb in a Shi’ite neighbourhood of Karachi killed 45. A spokesman for the shadowy Jandullah militant group, a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban, said they were behind the blast. “We claim responsibility for attack on Shi’ite in Shikarpur very happily,” Ahmed Marwat told AFP. Friday’s attack came as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, to discuss the law and order situation in the city.