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40 killed, 100 hurt in blasts at shrine in Pakistan

Last updated on: April 03, 2011 21:47 IST

Three powerful blasts ripped through a crowded Sufi shrine near Dera Ghazi Khan in Pakistan's Punbjab province on Sunday, killing at least 40 people and injuring 100 others, a government official said.

The first blast occurred at the main entrance of the Sakhi Sarwar Darbar located about 30 km from Dera Ghazi Khan. The two other blasts went off inside the shrine just as a rescue operation had been launched at the site, officials said.

Thirty people were killed and 100 others injured, said Natiq Hayat, a doctor in charge of emergency rescue service in the area. About 20 of the injured are in a serious condition. The injured included elderly persons, women and childen, he told reporters.

About 60 of the injured had been taken to hospitals in Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan and other nearby cities, Hayat said. The remaining were being transported to hospitals, he said.

Officials said rescue operations had been affected as the shrine was located at a distance from the main cities.

Television news channels reported that a suspected suicide bomber was captured by rescue workers. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban fighters who consider sufi shrines as un-Islamic have targeted several of them in the past few years.