()

(Bodies of victims lie at the site of a Sufi shrine hit by Taliban suicide bomb attacks in Dera Ghazi Khan April 3, 2011/Sheikh Asif Raza)

Two Taliban suicide bombers caused carnage on Sunday at a Sufi shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan in eastern Pakistan, killing at least 41 people and wounding scores in the latest bloody attack on minority religious groups. Police said some 65 people were wounded. They said the attackers struck during an annual ceremony for the Sufi saint to whom the shrine is dedicated.

“I was just a few yards away from the place where the blast happened,” said witness Faisal Iqbal. “People started running outside the shrine. Women and children were crying and screaming. It was like hell.”

Taliban militants, who follow an austere interpretation of Sunni Islam, condemn other interpretations of Islam as heretical and have launched repeated attacks on the country’s Shi’ite, Sufi and Christian minorities. They claimed responsibility for Sunday’s suicide bombings.

“Our men carried out these attacks and we will carry out more in retaliation for government operations against our people in the northwest,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.