A blast inside a mosque in Quetta’s Satellite Town area during Friday evening prayers claimed 15 lives and left 19 people injured, Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove confirmed.
According to Quetta Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Abdul Razzaq Cheema and hospital sources, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Amanullah and the mosque’s imam were among the deceased.
What we know so far:
- Explosion took place during Maghrib prayers
- DSP, imam among the deceased
- Nature of the blast yet to be determined
The nature of the explosion, which took place inside the mosque during Maghrib prayers in Ghousabad neighbourhood, has yet to be determined, police said.
The injured and the deceased were shifted to Quetta’s Civil Hospital while an emergency was imposed in all hospitals of the city. AFP quoted Balochistan police chief Mohsin Hassan Butt as saying that the death toll may rise as some of the wounded are in critical condition.
Bomb disposal squad (BDS) and security personnel are searching the mosque premises for evidence and the area has been cordoned off. The mosque is located in a densely populated Pashtun-majority neighbourhood.
TV footage of the explosion’s aftermath showed debris and shattered glass strewn on the floor at the scene.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The incident comes nearly a month after the son of DSP Amanullah, who was martyred in today’s explosion, was shot dead.
DIG Cheema, while speaking to media, said that police had almost completed the investigation into Najeebullah’s killing. He added that they will now ascertain whether the same group was behind both the attacks.
Meanwhile, the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, tweeted that Frontier Corps personnel had reached the blast site and were carrying out a search operation along with police. “Every possible assistance be given to police and civil administration,” the tweet quoted Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as saying, adding that “those who targeted innocents in a mosque can never be true Muslim.”