By Aamir Latif
The death toll in Thursday’s shrine blast in southwestern Pakistan went up to 88 as five more people succumbed to their wounds in hospital on Friday, local Geo TV reported.
The suicide blast inside a famous shrine in Sehwan town of Sindh province also left over 340 others injured, the network said, adding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was given the updated numbers during a briefing on the rescue and relief operation, and the initial investigations by the provincial chief secretary during a visit to the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar -- a famous Sufi saint.
The prime minister also chaired a high level meeting in Sehwan, which was attended by the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, and other senior officials to review the law and order situation in the context of the recent wave of terrorism.
"The nation stands united against terrorists. We will not be browbeaten by these cowardly attacks," Sharif was quoted as saying by the Geo TV while presiding over the meeting.
He ordered the security authorities to accelerate the combing operations to flush out the terrorists.
Two groups have claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack: Daesh released a media statement and a second little-known militant outfit, Daulat-e-Islam Khurassan, also said it had carried out the bombing.
Seventy-five of the injured are in critical condition according to the latest figures released by the Sindh government.
The shrine attack is the latest in a string of suicide blasts that have rocked this South Asian nation in the last four days. Over 100 people have been killed and more than 300 injured in eight suicide attacks and bomb blasts across the country in recent days.
The renewed wave of terror attacks by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella group of Pakistani militant groups, has led to Pakistan closing its border with Afghanistan.