Suicide bombers kill at least 8 in attacks at Sufi Muslim shrine in Karachi

41924.jpegTwo suicide bombers attacked crowds visiting a Sufi Muslim shrine Thursday night in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, killing at least eight people and wounding 65 in an attack that reminded the nation of extremists' ability to strike virtually at will.

The blasts appeared to be timed for when crowds are largest at a shrine for Abdullah Shah Ghazi, an 8th century saint of the Sufi mystical strain of Islam. The shrine, which draws people from across the city and the rest of Sindh province, gets its biggest crowds on Thursday nights, Los Angeles Times reports.

Pakistan is 95 percent Muslim, and the majority practice Sufi-influenced Islam, whose more mystical practices are rejected by the Taliban and allied Islamic extremists - making Sufi sites a frequent target of militants.

A suicide attack in July killed 47 people at the nation's most revered Sufi shrine, Data Darbar in the eastern city of Lahore. That attack infuriated many Pakistanis, who saw it as an unjustified assault on peaceful civilians.

After Thursday's attack, condemnations came from across Pakistan, including from President Asif Ali Zardari, who was in Karachi at the time, and from the U.S. Embassy, according to The Associated Press.


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