Bomb at Sufi shrine kills at least five

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The Independent Online

A bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded at the gate of a Sufi shrine in Pakistan during morning prayers yesterday, killing at least five people.

The blast at the Farid Shakar Ganj shrine in Punjab province was the latest in a string of attacks targeting Sufi sites in Pakistan. Islamist militants often target Sufis, whose mystical practices clash with their hardline interpretation of Islam.

The dead from the blast included at least one woman, said Maher Aslam Hayat, a senior government official in the town of Pakpattan where the shrine is located. At least 13 others were wounded in the explosion.

The bombing significantly damaged nearly a dozen shops on either side of the street outside the shrine, leaving large piles of rubble and broken wood. Blood stained the ground and the wall of one of the damaged shops.