Responsibility claimed for the deadly suicide attack in Quetta, it's dangerous
QUETTA - At least 15 people, including a senior police officer, have been killed and several others injured in a powerful explosion that ripped through a mosque in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta.
Police said an improvised explosive device that had been planted at the mosque led to the explosion during Friday prayers in the capital of Balochistan Province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
The blast killed the senior police officer, Haji Amanullah, whose son was also killed by unknown people last month.
A spokesman for Pakistan military said paramilitary troops were conducting a search operation around the site.
Local police chief Mohammad Ajmal and hospital officials said the death toll from the bombing, the second in Quetta this week, could rise.
The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The attack came just days after a roadside bomb in Quetta hit a paramilitary force vehicle, killing two troops.
Pakistan’s restive and mineral-rich Balochistan province is rife with separatist, extremist and sectarian violence and has been the scene of several bomb and gun attacks over the past years.
Balochistan was rocked by a series of terrorist attacks in late 2016, raising fears about an increasing presence of armed militants in the area, including terrorists linked to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Baloch separatist groups and militants in the province have also been engaged in a decades-long campaign against the central government.
Despite frequent offensives by the Pakistani army, acts of terror by militants continue to target security forces as well as civilians.
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered into an alliance with the United States in Washington’s so-called war on terror.
In January 2019, five people were killed and more than two dozen others injured in an attack by militants on a police office in Balochistan.