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After Sufi shrine attack, Pakistani forces claim killing over 24 militants

IS has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Sufi shrine

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine
Inside the Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine, situated in Pakistan, after a IS suicide bomber killed 76 people. Photo: Twitter (@XHNews)

Pakistani security forces on Friday killed more than 24 militants in a nationwide crackdown, a day after an (IS) suicide bomber blew himself up in the Sufi shrine of in Sindh's Sehwan, claiming 76 lives.

Paramilitary Sindh Rangers on Friday said that they had killed 18 terrorists in overnight operations in the southern province.

According to the Rangers, seven terrorists were killed in a shootout after they attacked a convoy of the paramilitary troops on the Super Highway near Kathor, Sindh.

The convoy was returning from Sehwan town after taking part in rescue operations. A soldier was also injured.

Another 11 terrorists were killed in a raid carried out in the Manghopir area of Karachi, according to the Rangers.

Separately, police in northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said they have killed 11 extremists in the restive province.

According to a security official, police killed three terrorists in the Reggi area of Peshawar, while the army targeted and killed four militants in the Orakzai tribal region.

Another four militants were killed in an exchange of fire in the Bannu area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Officials said that the crackdown would be intensified in the coming days as the government has resolved to eliminate militancy.

The crackdown was launched simultaneously by the federal and provincial governments after at least eight terror attacks rocked Pakistan since the weekend, killing dozens.

A high-level meeting this week chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreed that militants posing threat to national security should be "liquidated".

Several persons injured in the shrine blast are in critical condition and they will be shifted to Karachi, officials said.

The army said that the armed forces had placed all required resources to facilitate the rescue effort. The and Rangers assisted with rescue efforts at the site.

The has claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying a suicide bomber had targeted a "Shiite gathering" at the shrine in Sindh.

The shrine has been sealed and police have collected initial evidence and secured CCTV footage.

The fresh wave of terror attacks started when a suicide bomber attacked a protest rally outside the Punjab Assembly in Lahore on Monday killing 14 people and injuring dozens.

On the same day, a terrorist attack was foiled in Quetta but two officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad were killed diffusing a bomb under a bridge in Quetta.

Terrorists also carried out attacks in Mohmand agency and Peshawar, followed by the shrine blast in Sindh.

First Published: Fri, February 17 2017. 14:10 IST