KABUL – In a suicide bombing that unfolded in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, over 50 people were killed, and more than 50 sustained injuries during a religious gathering. The attack occurred on the day when Muslims worldwide celebrated the birthday of Prophet Mohammad.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Munir Ahmed reported that the suicide bomber detonated himself near the vehicle of the Deputy Superintendent of Police. The explosion occurred close to a mosque where people had assembled for a procession in honor of the Prophet’s birthday, a day marked as a public holiday.
No group has claimed responsibility for this tragic incident. This attack takes place amidst a surge in attacks attributed to militant groups in the western region of Pakistan, increasing the challenges faced by security forces as national elections are scheduled for January next year.
Notably, the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), promptly distanced themselves from this act. They are a distinct but closely affiliated group with the Afghan Taliban, who regained control of Kabul in 2021 during the chaotic withdrawal of US troops after a 20-year presence.
In the past, deadly attacks in Baluchistan and other regions have been claimed by the Islamic State group. Baluchistan, a gas-rich province situated at the border of Afghanistan and Iran, has witnessed a low-level insurgency by Baluch nationalists for over two decades. Initially, their demands centered around a fair share of provincial resources, but they later shifted towards advocating for independence.
The injured individuals are currently receiving medical attention in hospitals located in the nearby town of Mastung. Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti condemned the attack as a “very heinous act.”
This tragic incident follows a suicide bombing in July, where more than 40 people lost their lives during a gathering of a religious political party in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.