A blast at a mosque in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province in Pakistan, killed at least 14 people on Friday, Dawn reported. At least 20 people were injured in the explosion.
A deputy superintendent of police and an imam were among those dead. The injured and the deceased were shifted to Quetta’s Civil Hospital, and emergency orders were issued in all hospitals in the city.
A bomb disposal squad and security personnel are searching the mosque for evidence, to determine the nature, motive and responsibility for the attack. The mosque is located in a Pashtun-dominated area, Dawn reported. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Asif Ghafoor tweeted that Frontier Corps personnel had reached the blast site and were carrying out a search operation along with the police. “Every possible assistance [will] be given to police & civil administration,” Ghafoor said. “Those who targeted innocents in a mosque can never be true Muslim.”
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan said those who carried out the attack have no religion or tribal affiliation. “They are only terrorists and deserve the harshest punishment,” he said.
Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove also condemned the blast, claiming 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 added.
There have been a number of attacks in Quetta in recent times. A motorcycle parked close to a Frontier Corps vehicle blew up in the city on January 7, killing two people and injuring 14. In November last year, an explosion in Quetta’s Kuchlak area led to the deaths of two Frontier Corps personnel and five injuries.
In April last year, both the Taliban and the Islamic State terrorist groups claimed responsibility for a blast that killed 20 people in Quetta. At least 31 people were killed and over 20 injured in a suicide attack on a police convoy near a polling station in Quetta’s Eastern Bypass, on July 25, 2018, the day of the Pakistan general elections.