50 people killed in explosion in southwest Pakistan
50 people were killed on Friday in a powerful blast at a religious event in Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan. This was reported by the police and rescuers.
Confirming the casualties, Deputy Inspector General of the Counter-Terrorism Police of the city of Quetta (capital of the province) Aetzaz Ahmed Goraya told Xinhua that the death toll increased after at least 30 victims died from their injuries.
An explosion occurred near a mosque in the Qora Khan area of Mastung district. The victims include a senior police officer in charge of ensuring security for the event, said Mastung Assistant Commissioner Atta-ul-Muneem Baloch.
Preliminary investigations showed that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, he said, adding that relevant authorities were collecting evidence to determine the exact nature of the explosion.
Security forces and rescue workers immediately rushed to the scene and took the injured to nearby hospitals. A state of emergency has been declared in all hospitals in the district.
According to medical sources, several of the injured are in critical condition and have been shifted to Quetta for more intensive medical care.
So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pakistan's Acting Interior Minister Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti condemned the attack, saying the state has a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorists.