Policemen and another eight dead including 23 injured in suicide bomb attack on religious rally in Pakistan’s Balochistan

A suspected suicide bombing at a religious rally in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province killed at least eight people, including policemen, and injured 23 others on Monday, according to media reports.

The bombing took place during the religious rally at the Quetta Press Club near the Shahrah-i-Adalat road. Several vehicles parked in the vicinity have also been damaged due to the impact of the blast, Dawn newspaper reported.

 Eight, including policemen, dead in suicide bomb attack on religious rally in Pakistan’s Balochistan; 23 injured

File image of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan. AP

The attack came the same day UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is in Pakistan, termed the improved security situation in Pakistan as “absolutely remarkable”. Security personnel have cordoned off the area and are conducting a search operation. Officials added that the nature of the blast has not yet been ascertained.

At least eight people, including policemen, were killed, Duniya News reported. No group took responsibility of the attack but Baloch nationalists and the Taliban militants have been involved in such attacks in the past.

Provincial home minister Zia Ullah Langu said that investigations by bomb disposal officers indicated that a suicide bomber carried out the attack, according to Duniya News. Quetta is the capital of Balochistan province, the country’s largest but most sparsely populated province, rich in mineral resources and the route of much of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan directed the authorities concerned to provide the best medical treatment to the injured. Balochistan governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai condemned the blast and said: “Such a cowardly attack can’t weaken the morale of the nation and the security forces.”

On 10 January, a blast inside a mosque in Quetta’s Satellite Town area during Friday evening prayers had claimed 15 lives and left 19 people injured.

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