President condemns Jhal Magsi terrorist attack

In February, a suicide blast on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar - a famous Sufi saint - in southern Sindh province's Sehwan town had killed over 90 people and injured around 400.

Anwarul Haq Kakar, spokesman for the provincial government, said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.

President Mamnoon Hussain has strongly condemned the terrorist attack at Dargah Fatehpur in Jhal Magsi district of Balochistan on Thursday.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti told the media that 18 people including a police constable and three children were killed in the blast.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news service. "Police grabbed him and the suicide bomber exploded himself", he said.

The shrine is located four kilometres away from the city and the nearest hospital in the area can only accommodate 12 people, so the rescue teams are shifting the injured people to hospital in neighbouring districts.

The shrine is in Jhal Magsi, near the provincial capital Quetta.

Hundreds of devotees were present at the shrine for a monthly gathering when the bomber hit.

The police have launched an investigation and an initial probe reportedly showed that the blast occurred when dhamal was ongoing in the premises of the shrine.

Deputy Commissioner of Jhal Magsi, Asadullah Kakar, told reporters, adding that the administration had declared an emergency in the district and nearby hospitals, and additional doctors and paramedical staff had also been called in.

A greater push towards peace and development by authorities has reduced violence in recent years, but the remnants of militant groups are still able to carry out periodic attacks, particularly in the northwest.

  • Rogelio Becker