An emotional day of mourning in southern Pakistan. Wailing Sufi devotees shouting at police outside a bloodstained shrine on Friday, blaming them for not protecting the busy temple, where a massive ISIS suicide bombing killed at least 77 people. The assault on Thursday is the deadliest in a wave of blasts across the country this week.
As Reuters Mehreen Zahra-Malik explains, violent and deadly militant attacks are surging.>> Since 2014, the army has been carrying out armed operations to push militants out of their north western strongholds and from their hideouts in major cities. And they have had reasonable success, because the number of attacks has really gone down on average and the security situation has markedly improved.
But now it seems that given the intensity of the army operations, these groups had cold stored their bombers, their attackers but now seem to have activated them once again.>> The attackers targeted the women's ring of the shrine, among the dead around 30 children who were with their mothers.
Islamic State has claimed several major attacks in Pakistan, although the Pakistani Taliban remains the greatest threat to all walks of life.>> This is a war against the whole of Pakistan. Look at the list of targets the Taliban have identified in their new video. Government departments, army, paramilitary, lawyers, judges, NGOs, police, minority faiths.
They haven't left anyone out. There's no distinction. They will strike in any way possible to destabilize the country and to project Pakistan as unsafe and as volatile.>> Three days of mourning has officially been declared as funerals are held for victims. Officials say the death toll is likely to rise.