At least 55 were killed and over 50 injured following a massive suicide blast near a mosque in Balochistan province's Mastung district on Friday, as people gathered in the area for an Eid-e-Milad procession.
Citing Mastung Assistant Commissioner Attahul Munim, Pakistani English Daily, Dawn reported that the explosion occurred when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the vehicle of Mastung Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nawaz Gishkori, who was among the deceased. Several images of the incident showed dead bodies and severed limbs.
At least 28 bodies have been brought to the Shaheed Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Raisani Memorial Hospital so far, while 22 were taken to the Mastung district hospital.
According to Balochistan interim Information Minister Jan Achakzai, critically injured people are being transferred to Quetta and an emergency has been imposed in all hospitals. Caretaker Chief Minister Ali Mardan Donki has directed authorities to arrest the perpetrators, he said.
The Karachi police said that its Additional Inspector General has directed the police to remain “completely on high alert” in view of the blast and policemen are expected to tighten security arrangements for Eid-i-Milad processions.
After the tragic incident, Domki announced a three-day mourning across Balochistan while Achakzai said that the Pakistani flag would fly at half-mast on government buildings during the same period, reported Geo News.
Several Pakistani ministers condemned the incident and expressed condolences for the victims of the suicide blast. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has directed authorities to provide medical aid to the injured.
Deadly incidents in Mastung
This is the second blast in Balochistan's Mastung within a period of 15 days. On September 14, at least 11 people, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Hafiz Hamdullah, were wounded in an explosion there.
Mastung has emerged as a rather dangerous area for civilians with a notorious history of bomb attacks and shootings. Earlier this month, a paramilitary official was gunned down by unidentified men while a policeman died in an attack at a polio vaccination centre.
In October 2022, a bomb attack targeting two vehicles claimed the lives of three people and injured six in the Qabu area of the district.
Prior to that, a deadly suicide blast in Mastung killed 128 people in July 2018, including Pakistani politician Nawabzada Siraj Raisani. Over 200 people were injured in the explosion.