24 February 2024
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At least 25 people, including a senior police official, were killed when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up near a procession commemorating Eid Miladun Nabi (PBUH) in Balochistan’s Mastung district on Friday, confirmed police.

Police officials confirmed that DSP Mastung Nawaz Gishkori was among those killed and at least 60 people were injured. Officials expressed fear that the number of casualties may increase.

According to Mastung’s assistant commissioner, the blast took place near Al-Falah Mosque, where people were gathering to participate in the procession.

The area was cordoned off by law enforcers and rescue personnel shifted the casualties to nearby medical facilities. Emergency has also been declared in hospitals and staff has been instructed to report to work immediately.

Balochistan’s interim Information Minister Jan Achakzai said rescue teams have been dispatched to Mastung and those seriously injured in the attack are being shifted to Quetta. The minister also condemned the blast.

Security forces on alert

Following the bomb attack in Mastung, Karachi Police stated that police will remain “completely on high alert” on the directions of Additional Inspector General Khadim Husain Rind.

The senior police official ordered the force to tighten security measures to safeguard Eid Miladun Nabi events and processions across the city.

ایڈیشنل آئی جی کراچی خادم حسین رند نےمستونگ میں دھماکے کے تناظر میں کراچی پولیس کو مکمل طور پر ہائی الرٹ رہنے کے احکامات جاری کیے ہیں۔

کراچی پولیس کو شہر میں عید میلادالنبی اور نماز جمعہ کے حوالے سے سیکیورٹی اقدامات مزید سخت بنانے اور انتہائی متحرک رہنے اور غیر معمولی سرگرمیوں…
— Karachi Police (@KarachiPolice_) September 29, 2023

The Punjab Police also said the force was diligently protecting all religious events and Friday prayers to safeguard the citizens.

پنجاب پولیس کے مستعد اہلکار صوبہ بھر میں نماز جمہ کے لیے مساجد کی حفاظت کے فرائض انجام دے رہے ہیں#JummahMubarak #PunjabPolice #SecurityDuty #RabiulAwalMubarak #12RabiulAwwal pic.twitter.com/FE03SriJnW
— Punjab Police Official (@OfficialDPRPP) September 29, 2023

Condemnations

Shortly after the blast, condolences poured in. “The morale of the nation cannot be weakened by cowardly acts of terror,” said Interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi.

“All of Pakistan is united against the scourge of terrorism. Terrorist elements do not deserve any concession,” he said, adding that with the cooperation of security forces, the “monster of terrorism” will be eliminated completely.

Solangi also offered condolences to the aggrieved families and prayed for the departed souls while strongly condemning the attack.

In a similar statement made on X, formerly Twitter, Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that attacking innocent people during an Eid Miladun Nabi is a “terrible act”.

He condemned the “heinous attack” and said that all resources would be used for the rescue and relief operation.

Strongly condemn the heinous attack in Mastung. Attacking innocent people during the Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession is a terrible act. We’ll use all resources for rescue and relief operations, ensuring best medical care for the injured. We’re committed to a zero-tolerance policy…
— Senator Sarfraz Bugti (@PakSarfrazbugti) September 29, 2023

The minister vowed “best medical care” for the injured, adding that the government is committed to “a zero-tolerance policy against terrorists”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and former premier Shehbaz Sharif said that carrying out such a despicable act on an occasion marking the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBHU) is detestable now and in the Hereafter.

He condemned the attack and offered condolences to the families of the deceased and injured. The latter should be given the best facilities for treatment, he added.

Earlier this month, senior Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) leader Hafiz Hamdullah on Thursday survived a bomb attack with non-lethal injuries, while travelling in the Mastung district of Balochistan.

Read: JUI-F’s Hafiz Hamdullah survives bomb attack

The bomb blast targeted Hamdullah’s vehicle in the Choto area, while he was going to Mangochar via Mastung Road.

Police said that at least 11 people, including Hamdullah, were injured in the explosion. The injured were taken to Mastung hospital but Hamdullah was later shifted to Quetta.

The bomb attack came a day after the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) killed a key IS commander in Mastung district.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more details emerge

Abdul Gh Lone

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