The death toll has climbed to 50 from a triple suicide bombing at Pakistan’s most important Sufi shrine in Lahore, a devastating attack clearly directed against the country’s moderate Muslims.
Two of the bombers detonated inside the shrine, known as Data Ganj Baksh late last night while a third blew himself up outside. Police have recovered the remains of two of the bombers and estimated their ages at 17 and 22.
This isn’t the recent first attack by extremists against a Sufi holy site — the burial place of a revered Sufi poet was blown up last year — but Data Ganj Baksh is one of Pakistan’s most recognizable cultural landmarks. Hardline militants consider Sufism — a moderate mystical sect that, among other practices, allows women free access to shrines — to be heretical.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but Pakistanis interviewed at the scene blamed their government’s involvement with the United States for provoking the militants.