54 killed in suicide blast in Balochistan
   Date :30-Sep-2023

Another blast at a mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu city kills at least four people and injures 12

A POWERFUL suicide blast ripped through a mosque in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Friday, killing at least 54 people and injuring over 100 others who were preparing to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, police said. Hours later, another blast at a mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu city killed at least four people and injured 12 others. At Mastung, the explosion occurred near Madina Mosque on Al Falah Road in the Mastung district when people had gathered in large numbers to mark Eid Milad-un-Nabi, City Station House Officer Mohammad Javed Lehri said. “The explosion was a‘suicide blast’. The bomber exploded himself next to the Deputy Superintendent of Police’s (DSP) car,” Lehri said. Later, a hand grenade was also defused by the bomb squad from near the blast site, he said. Bordering Afghanistan and Iran, Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province and has frequently been hit by terror groups including the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Islamic State group. Mastung’s DSP Nawaz Gishkori, who was on duty for the rally, was found dead among others Lehri said the wounded were shifted to a medical facility even asan emergency has been imposed in the hospitals. District Health Officer Rashid Muhammad Saeed said the situation at the hospitals across the town was chaotic as relatives and friends of those killed and injured were making it difficult for the doctors and nurses to perform their duties. “Around 20 of the patients who were in critical condition have been moved to Quetta for treatment,” he said.
Balochistan Inspector General(IG)AbdulKhalique Sheikh said the suicide bomber blew himself up closetogroupsofpeoplewho were gathering near the mosque to take out the Rabiul Awwal procession to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday. “Until now we have 54 confirmed casualties,” he said, adding that the injured have been sent to hospitals in Mastung and Quetta. Sheikh said DSP Ghashhori was killed after he apparently spotted the suicide bomber and tried to stop him.“Three other police officers were also injured in the blast,” he said. The IG said he was not aware of theexactnumberof people injuredbuttheywere in dozens. The TTP has denied involvementinFriday’sblast, saying in a statement that such an attack was against its policies.
The group also condemned the attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, stating that “mosques,schools,andpublic gatherings are not part of our targets”. Sheikh said the suspicion is centred around the Daesh (also known as ISIS) terror outfit. “It is still too early to say whoisbehindthis attackbut in the past Daesh militants have been active in Mastung district,” he said. SheikhsaidDaeshhadpreviously claimed responsibilityforsuchattacksinthepast. Mastung District Headquarters Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Nisar Ahmed said 18 bodies werebrought to hishospital, while the remaining were moved to the Naqab Ghous Bakhsh Raisani Memorial Hospital in Mastung and Civil Hospital in Quetta. The Naqab Ghous Bakhsh Raisani Memorial Hospital CEO Dr Saeed Mirwani has confirmed that his hospital received32bodies,whilefour bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital in Quetta. Meanwhile, in the unruly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province few hours later, at least four people died and 12 others were injured in the suicide blast that ripped throughamosqueduringthe Juma prayers close to the Doaba police station in Hangu district.