A blast inside a mosque in Quetta’s Satellite Town area on Friday evening claimed 14 lives and left 20 people injured, Civil Hospital Spokesperson Dr Wasim Baig confirmed, reports DAWN.com.
According to Quetta deputy inspector general Abdul Razzaq Cheema and hospital sources, deputy superintendent of police Amanullah and the mosque’s imam were among the deceased.
The nature of the explosion, which took place inside a mosque during Maghrib prayers in Ghousabad neighbourhood, has yet to be determined, police said.
Bomb disposal squad and security personnel are searching the mosque premises for evidence.
TV footage of the explosion’s aftermath showed debris and shattered glass strewn on the floor at the scene.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The mosque is located in a densely populated Pashtun-dominated area.
Balochistan chief minister Jam Kamal Khan, while condemning the incident, said that those who targeted worshippers have no religion or tribal affiliation. ‘They are only terrorists and deserve the harshest punishment,’ he said, adding that state enemies are once again trying to create a law and order situation in Balochistan.
The chief minister said, however, that they would not let anyone destroy the hard-earned peace that had been achieved through the sacrifices of the armed forces and citizens.
Balochistan home minister Zia Langove also condemned the blast, saying that ‘terrorists were scared of Pakistan’s development’.
‘Internal and external enemies are making failed efforts to create panic and unrest in the country,’ he said in a statement.
Langove vowed that ‘defeated terrorists will never be allowed to succeed’. He expressed solidarity with the victims and said that no negligence will be tolerated in the medical treatment of the injured.
The incident comes three days after a motorcycle parked close to a Frontier Corps vehicle blew up in Quetta, leaving two people dead and another 14 injured. That blast had come after a respite of some weeks in what has traditionally been a violence-prone area.
In November, at least two FC personnel were martyred and five others injured in an explosion in Quetta’s Kuchlak area. The security personnel were on routine patrol in the area when an improvised explosive device detonated.
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