Deadly blast hits shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan

Deadly blast hits shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan

Deadly blast hits shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan

"The suicide bomber struck outside the shrine at a time when it was packed with people, attending anniversary celebrations of Syed Cheesal Shah", Kakar said.

He said the bomber blew himself up near the entrance gate of the portion allocated for women in the shrine, located in Jhal Magsi area, some 300 km away from provincial capital of Quetta.

"A suicide bomber blew himself up after he was intercepted by police guards on duty outside the shrine, killing 13 people and wounding at least 20 others", senior local administration official Asad Kakar told AFP.

At least two policemen were also injured in the blast.

The attacker detonated his explosives vest when he was stopped for a routine search by a police officer guarding the Dargah Fatehpur shrine where hundreds of people had gathered to mourn the death of a local spiritual leader.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti told the media that 18 people including a police constable and three children were killed in the blast.

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Security forces reached the spot and cordoned off the area after the blast.

The minister said that around 25 people were injured in the blast and they were shifted to different hospitals.

The Islamic State Khorasan Province - the Middle Eastern group's affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan - has since released a statement claiming the attack, according to the US-based monitoring group SITE.

The President further said that the whole nation is united in the fight against terrorism and such cowardly acts can not shake our resolve against this menace.

In November previous year, at least 52 people were killed in a bombing at a shrine in the Hub district south of Jhal Magsi.

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