14 killed in blast at mosque in Pakistan's Quetta

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 11, 2020
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Security members examine the blast site in Quetta, Balochistan province, Pakistan, Jan. 10, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

A blast hit a mosque in capital city Quetta of Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province on Friday night, killing at least 14 people and injuring 20 others, a senior police officer said.

The victims, including the deputy superintendent police of Quetta, were offering prayers inside the mosque when they were targeted by the explosion, Inspector General of Quetta police Abdul Razzaq Cheema told Xinhua.

Sharing initial investigation reports with media, provincial Home Minister Zia Ullah Langau said that the blast was suspected to be carried out by a suicide bomber, adding that the security of mosques and other religious places have been beefed up in the province.

The injured people have been shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta and several of them are in critical condition, the hospital's spokesman said.

No group or individual has claimed the attack yet.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the blast and directed hospital authorities to provide best possible medical treatment to the injured people. He also sought a report of the incident from the relevant authorities, the Prime Minister's House said in a statement.

Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet that military troops have also joined the police in the search and rescue operation.

"Every possible assistance be given to police and civil administration. Those who targeted innocents in a mosque can never be true Muslim," the official quoted the country's army chief as saying.

This was the second blast that hit the city in less than a week. Earlier on Tuesday, two people were killed and 18 others injured when an improvised explosive device was detonated near a security forces' vehicle in Quetta. 

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