Iran strongly condemns terrorist blast in Pakistan

07 October, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • With the suicide bomber claiming at least 20 lives it is feared the death toll could be higher

The attack took place at Dargah Fatehpur in the Jhal Magsi district of the oil and gas rich Balochistan province, bordering Iran and Afghanistan.

In August, a blast targeting military personnel killed 15 people and injured 32 in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan.

No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack yet, but Pakistan's officials often blame extremist groups such as Baluchistan's separatist insurgent group for such terrorist acts. Investigations are under way and police have collected evidence from the site of the blast, the official said.

Sarfraz Bugti, the provincial home minister, said "terrorists have shown their inhumaneness by attacking innocent civilians" at the shrine. This was also the second attack on the Pir Rakhel Shah shrine since 2005. One police constable was among the dead, said police officer Muhammad Iqbal to CNN.

Hundreds of devotees were present at the shrine for a monthly gathering when the bomber hit.

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Just hours earlier, Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Ghafoor told a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that the government has been alerted about possible attacks.

"Such blind attacks are targeted at undermining security in Pakistan and fuelling religious clashes".

In June, at least 75 Shiite Muslims were killed in twin bombings at a market in Parachinar in the country's northwest.

A greater push towards peace and development by authorities has reduced violence in recent years, but the remnants of militant groups are still able to carry out periodic attacks, particularly in the northwest.

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