Lahore’s famous Sufi shrine popularly known as Data Darbar [the final resting place of Syed Abul Hassan Bin Usman Bin Ali Al- Hajweri] has five doors out of which four were closed. The only door kept open had a body scanner installed with it and it is still unknown how the bombers made their way inside the shrine. There were a large number of devotees at shrine due to Thursday while ‘Langer’ [distribution of free meals] was going on at the time of explosions.
By Farhan Sharif
July 2 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s death toll in yesterday’s twin suicide attacks on the shrine of a Sufi saint in the eastern city of Lahore rose to 41. At least 175 people were injured.
The first bombing took place at 11:20 p.m. in the basement of the tomb, an area reserved for ablutions, and the second bomb exploded minutes later in the main prayer area which was crowded with worshippers who gather every Thursday for special rituals, Khusro Pervez, Lahore’s commissioner, told reporters. The shrine of Sufi saint Syed Abul Hassan Bin Usman Bin Ali Al- Hajweri is also known as Data Gunj Baksh.
The bombings in Lahore, Pakistan’s cultural capital, come a month after over 100 people were killed in twin attacks on mosques of the minority Ahmadi community in the city on May 28. At least 550 people have been killed in retaliatory attacks by militants in cities nationwide after Pakistan’s military started operations in the northwest last year.
This was the second assault on the tomb of a Sufi saint, after militants blew up the Rehman Baba shrine in Peshawar in March 2009. Hard-line religious militants oppose followers of the Sufi interpretation of Islam, a moderate belief system based on mysticism.
–With assistance from Anwar Shakir in Peshawar and Khurrum Anis in Karachi. Editor: Naween A. Mangi
Source: Bloomberg Business Week Title Image: The Muslim Forum
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