Lal Shahbaz Qalandar bombing: Death toll rises to 88

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], Feb. 19 (ANI): The death toll in the deadly Lal Shahbaz Qalandar attack has risen to 88 since Friday night. According to Dawn, Director General Health Services Sindh Dr Hassan Murad Shah on Saturday confirmed the rise in body count. The official list of casualties show that 76 bodies were received and handled at the Shah Abdullah Institute of Medical Sciences, four at the People's Medical University (PMH) Hospital in Shaheed Benazirabad, and eight at Chandka Medical University Hospital in Larkana. Meanwhile, the Sindh government will have the case investigated through Sindh police's Counterterrorism Department (CTD), similar to the suicide bombings in Jacobabad during Ashura and at Shikarpur's shrine, and then again last year in Shikarpur on the second day of Eidul Azha. Officials believe there might be some handler or facilitator of the suicide bomber who must have provided logistical support. According to a police official, "It will be premature to share anything or take any position at this point of time, as such cases always offer different angles of investigation and commenting on them immediately is likely to spoil the investigation or distract the authorities' attentions." Sehwan police had lodged a case on Friday against one suicide bomber and three facilitators involved in the Feb 16 suicide bombing at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. The shrine has now been opened for the general public. Police had also completed the geo-fencing part of the investigation, which entails police and security agencies obtaining data of all calls, incoming and outgoing, that have touched the towers of different cell phone companies in a given area. Speaking to media, Jamshoro SSP Tariq Wilayat admitted that there was a security lapse despite police presence in the shrine. "There is security always present in this area. It was even present during the blast, which is why one of our police officers was martyred as well. However, it is obvious that there was some sort of lapse, and that lapse will be identified." (ANI)