In a horrifying act of violence, over 52 innocent lives were lost and more than 80 people were injured in a suspected suicide bombing in Pakistan.
The attack took place in Mastung, a district in the Baluchistan province, during a gathering to celebrate the birth anniversary of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, known as Mawlid an-Nabi.
The blast caused widespread chaos and devastation. Emergency services rushed to the scene, battling through the pandemonium to attend to the casualties. Eyewitnesses described the aftermath as a scene of utter destruction, with lifeless bodies scattered on the ground and cries for help echoing through the air.
⚡️In the city of Mastung (Pakistan), a suicide bomber blew himself up near a mosque, – local media
According to rough estimates, more than 50 people were killed and about a hundred more were injured 🤯 pic.twitter.com/fkaihLC0Ph
— Tay Keith 🇷🇺 (@Germaarig) September 29, 2023
The attack occurred in an area where militancy has been on the rise since the Taliban took control of Kabul in 2021. Despite this, the Pakistani Taliban quickly distanced themselves from the bombing. No group claimed responsibility for the attack yet, leaving the cause of the blast unclear.
In addition to the main attack in Mastung, local reports also mentioned a separate blast that ripped through a mosque located on the premises of a police station in Hangu, a district in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
This secondary explosion resulted in seven injuries and at least two fatalities. The impact of the blast caused the mud-brick mosque to collapse, trapping worshippers under the rubble. Rescue efforts are ongoing to save those still trapped.
The government had declared a national holiday for the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad and public gatherings were held across the country. Just days before the bombing, authorities asked police to remain on maximum alert due to the potential threat of militant attacks targeting these rallies.
#WATCH : Visual recorded at the time of blast in Mastung Balochistan#KhyberPakhtunkhwa #Pakistan #SuicideBomber #Mosque #Allahuakbar #BreakingNow #LatestNews #LatestNews #Alert #FLASH #Terrorist #Terrorism #Pakistan #Balochistan #Balochistanblast pic.twitter.com/PRffzX3d1P
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The gas-rich southwestern Balochistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has been the site of a low-level insurgency by Baloch nationalists for more than two decades. The nationalists initially demanded a share of provincial resources but later launched an insurgency calling for independence.
The caretaker interior minister, Sarfraz Bugti, denounced the bombing and expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of lives. He called it a ‘heinous act’ to target people at the Mawlid an-Nabi procession.
This tragic event serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat of terrorism in the region. As investigations continue to determine whether the bombing was indeed a suicide attack, the world watches and mourns with Pakistan.