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Suicide bomber hits religious gathering near Quetta killing and injuring dozens

Quetta, Pakistan: A suicide bombing and another blast ripped through two mosques in Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 57 people and injuring more than 60 amid events marking the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, police and health officials said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, one of which trapped dozens of people under rubble, media said. They come amid a surge in militant attacks, raising the stakes for security forces ahead of general elections set for January.

Injured victims of bomb explosion are treated at a hospital, in Mastung near Quetta, Pakistan, on Friday.Credit: District Police Office/AP

The first blast, in the southwestern province of Balochistan, killed 52 people, according to a district health official, Abdul Rasheed.

“The bomber detonated himself near a police vehicle near Madina Mosque where people were gathering for a procession,” added senior police official Munir Ahmed.

The second blast, in neighbouring northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, killed five people. It collapsed the mosque roof, broadcaster Geo News said, trapping about 30 to 40 people under the rubble.

Both provinces border Afghanistan and have suffered attacks in recent years by Islamist militants, who aim to overthrow Pakistan’s government and install their own brand of strict Islamic law.

A boy injured in a bomb explosion receives treatment at a hospital, in Mastung near Quetta.

A boy injured in a bomb explosion receives treatment at a hospital, in Mastung near Quetta.Credit: District Police Office/AP

The Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella group of various hardline Sunni Islamist groups, denied it had carried out the attack.

The casualties were being treated at hospitals in the nearby town of Mastung. Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti called the blast was a “very heinous act”.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/bomber-hits-religious-gathering-in-pakistan-killing-and-injuring-dozens-20230929-p5e8pl.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Suicide bomber hits religious gathering near Quetta killing and injuring dozens

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