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Explosion at Mosque in Quetta

by AFP
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File photo. Asif Hassan—AFP

At least two people dead, 24 others injured in bombing at Friday prayers

At least two people were killed and more than two-dozen others injured by a blast during Friday prayers at a mosque in Quetta, officials said.

Police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said the explosion—the latest violence in a string of attacks in Balochistan province—was caused by a remotely detonated bomb. “We have received two dead bodies and 28 injured,” Dr. Mohammad Waseem in Quetta’s Sandeman hospital told AFP, adding that about 12 patients were in a serious condition.

There have been no claims of responsibility for the incident.

The blast in the Pashtunabad locality comes weeks after a suicide blast claimed by the Islamic State group, also in Quetta, killed at least 20 people.

Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest and poorest province—bordering Afghanistan and Iran—is rife with Islamist, separatist and sectarian insurgencies, even as incidents of violence have significantly dropped elsewhere in Pakistan.

Militants still retain the ability to carry out attacks, including on major urban centers and tightly-guarded targets, and analysts have long warned that Pakistan is yet to tackle the root causes of extremism.

Balochistan is key to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative. CPEC seeks to connect China’s western province of Xinjiang with Gwadar, giving Beijing access to the Arabian Sea.

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