At least 39 suspected militants have been killed in Pakistan on Friday (17 February) in a raid following the powerful bomb attack that ripped through a Sufi shrine on Thursday. The blast killed over 70 people and wounded several others.
Hundreds of worshippers were reportedly present at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar – a Sufi saint– during the attack. The shrine is located in the city of Sehwan.
According to Pakistani officials, security forces killed the suspects following a countrywide raid that led to the arrest of another 47 suspects, including some in Sindh Province.
The overnight search operation targeted militant hideouts and led to shootouts with insurgents, the officials added on condition of anonymity due to security reasons.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Army has asked Afghanistan to hand over around 76 terrorists hiding in Kabul, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Friday.
The head of the military's media wing DG ISPR Major-General Asif Ghafoor called Afghan Embassy officials to General Headquarters and gave them the list of terrorists hiding in Afghanistan.
Ghafoor added that he has asked them "to take immediate action/be handed over to Pakistan".
Islamabad has also shut the border crossing with Afghanistan for an indefinite period after the attack. The country has directly blamed the extremist "sanctuaries in Afghanistan" for the devastating bomb attack.
Pakistan has been struggling with a number of Islamist onslaughts over the last few days. Previous attacks targeted areas in Lahore, Quetta and Mohmand Agency, with the latest one in Sehwan being claimed by the dreaded Islamic State (Isis), which said it targeted a Shiite gathering.