At least 17 people have been killed and many others injured in an explosion in Balochistan’s Mastung.
The bombing took place near a local mosque shortly after Friday prayers.
Deputy Chairman Senate Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s convoy was the worst hit in the attack. The explosion occurred right as Haideri’s convoy was exiting the mosque.
It was unclear whether the explosion was the result of an improvised explosive device (IED) or a suicide attack. Police say the attack is likely to have been a suicide blast.
Haideri, while speaking briefly to media, said he had suffered minor injuries but was otherwise fine. He has been shifted to Quetta for treatment. His condition, according to a representative of the Balochistan government, Anwar ul Haq Kakkar, is “safe and sound”.
Police feared many injuries but declined to give a number saying rescue operations are still underway.
Kakkar, while speaking to DawnNews said that some of the injured were air-lifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Quetta.
The majority of those injured and killed were party workers of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), rescue sources said.
Levies, police and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel are present at the site of the attack, which has been cordoned off.
The wounded are being taken to Civil Hospital Mastung, while those in critical condition are being transported to Quetta for treatment.
An emergency has been declared at Civil Hospital Mastung and more doctors have been called in, hospital sources said.
This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.