25 killed in Balochistan bombing
ISLAMABAD: At least 25 persons were killed while over 30 others, including the Senate's Deputy Chairman, were injured in an explosion in Pakistan's Balochistan region on Friday.
The bombing took place near a convoy carrying Abdul Ghafoor Haideri as it left a mosque in Mastung, some 90 km from Quetta. At least 35 persons were injured in the blast, Geo News reported.
Mastung police officer Ghazanfar Ali said that Haideri's vehicle got completely damaged in the bombing and his driver and personal assistant were killed.
Haideri was shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Quetta, said police officials.
"Twenty-five bodies have been shifted to two hospitals in Quetta," said a district health officer in Mastung.
The blast was very powerful, said Haideri, adding that he was deeply saddened by the deaths.
The area was cordoned off by security forces and investigations were underway.
Haideri represents the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) party and most of those injured or killed were JUI-F workers, media reports said.
JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Malik, condemning the attack, said that Haideri had asked for a bulletproof vehicle which was not provided to him.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the bombing and expressed his concern for the well-being of Haideri.
Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan also condemned the attack. Rabbani said that "terrorists cannot deter [the] nation's resolve against militancy through such coward attacks".
According to the Radio Pakistan website, Rabbani termed the incident a "suicide attack".
It was not confirmed by either the police or rescue personnel whether the explosion was a roadside bomb or a suicide attack.
President Mamnoon Hussain also condemned the attack and expressed the state's resolve to protect the public by completely eradicating terrorism from the country.