Twenty Sufis Tortured and Killed in Pakistan Shrine Attack

Custodian Behind Incident Police Say

Over the weekend, a group of attackers, reportedly led by the custodian of the site, attacked a group of worshipers at a Sufi shrine in the Pakistani town of Sargodha, torturing and killing 20 people, and leaving four survivors wounded in the incident.

While a lot of Sufi shrines have been targeted in recent month by Islamists, but that does not appear to be the case in this particular incident, with police saying that the custodian was “mentally unstable.” He apparently believed the worshipers were plotting to kill him.

At the same time, it’s unclear who the “accomplices” are that reportedly participated in the attacks, beating the worshipers with clubs and stabbing them with knives. Reportedly, the custodian had invited the specific worshipers who were targeted, attacking them as they arrived.

Locals were still reeling in the wake of the incident in the usually quiet area, and even if this attack was not organized by a specific militant group, it will likely fuel complaints of insufficient protection of religious minorities by the Pakistani government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.