Last Updated: September 29, 2023, 13:48 IST
At least 34 people were killed and more than 100 wounded Friday by a “suicide blast” near a mosque in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, local media reported.
The explosion happened in the Mustang district of the southwestern province as people gathered for a religious procession marking the birthday of Prophet Mohammed, Pakistan’s Dawn reported citing the assistant commissioner of Mastung district.
Pakistan’s interior ministry confirmed a blast carried out by “terrorist elements”. “The attack on innocent people who came to participate in the procession of Eid Milad-ul-Nabi is a very heinous act,” it said in a statement.
Balochistan’s Minister for Information Jan Achakzai posted on X, that the number of dead was rising.
Foreign backed elements in #Balochistan want to destroy peace and religious harmony.I strongly condemn this unfortunate terrorist incident in #Mastung. I will share further details with my countrymen in my press conf.
CM Blaochistan @MirAliMardan has directed LEAs to arrest…
— Jan Achakzai / جان اچکزئی (@Jan_Achakzai) September 29, 2023
“The enemy wants to destroy religious tolerance and peace in Balochistan with foreign blessings,” Achakzai said. “The explosion is unbearable.”
Earlier this month, at least 11 people were injured in a blast in the same district. Pakistan faced the highest number of attacks in August this year, tallying the highest monthly strikes since 2014.
According to an Islamabad-based think tank, Pakistan saw 22 suicide attacks in the first eight months of 2023, in which 227 people were killed and 497 injured.