Pakistan: Deadly bomb blast targets Friday prayers in Quetta
Pakistani police said a powerful bomb has
gone off inside a mosque on the outskirts of the western city of Quetta during
Friday prayers, killing at least four people and wounding 20.
“The blast was carried out through a
timed device that was planted under the wooden chair of the prayer
leader,” said Quetta’s Chief of Police Abdul Razzaq Cheema.
“The death toll could increase as
some of the victims were seriously injured,” Shafqat Janjua, a police
official, told Reuters news agency.
Cheema added that the wounded were taken
to nearby hospitals in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.
There was no immediate claim of
responsibility, but Pakistani armed groups have been blamed for previous such
attacks in Balochistan.
Balochistan, Pakistan‘s largest and least populated
province, is also rich in mineral and fuel resources. It has seen regular
violence in recent years, with attacks claimed by Baloch separatists, Pakistan
Taliban and local affiliates of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group.
Pakistan’s government claims it has
quelled the rebellion, but violence has continued.
Balochistan is seeing a number of new
infrastructure projects launched, including the port at Gwadar, as part of the
$60bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
project, a joint venture between the Pakistani and Chinese governments.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA