Daesh attack on government convoy kills at least 25 in Pakistan

A bomb exploded near a convoy of the deputy chairman of Pakistan's Senate on Friday, in the province of Balochistan. The death toll could rise with dozens injured. Daesh claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Pakistan security officials examine the site of a suicide bomb attack in Mastung district, east of the provincial capital Quetta, May 12, 2017.

A suicide bomb attack by Daesh in Pakistan’s restive southwestern Balochistan province has claimed at least 25 lives.

District health official Sher Ahmed Satakzai said the death toll had risen to 25, with 10 victims in critical condition.

The bomber appeared to target a convoy of the deputy chairman of Pakistan's Senate.  The blast occurred in the town of Mastung, 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the provincial capital, Quetta.

Daesh claimed it had carried out a deadly bomb attack on the convoy, with the group's Amaq news agency saying that a bomber wearing an explosive vest was responsible for the attack. 

Police confirmed that Senate Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri was injured in the blast.

Haideri's car was badly damaged by the explosion.

"I am alive, Allah has saved my life, it was a sudden blast, broken pieces of the windscreen hit me, I am injured but safe. The driver and other people sitting next to me were badly injured," Haideri said on private TV channel SAMAA.

Haideri is a member of Jamiat e Ulema Islam, a right-wing Sunni political party that is part of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's coalition government.

Mastung police official Ghazanfar Ali Shah said the convoy appeared to have been hit by a suicide bomber, adding Haideri's driver was among those killed.

Pakistani volunteers and colleagues move an injured blast victim to a hospital in Quetta on May 12, 2017, following a powerful explosion in Mastung district.

The senator was on his way back to Quetta after distributing graduation certificates to students who had graduated from a madrassa, or religious acadamy.

Separatist militants in Balochistan have also waged a campaign against the central government for decades, demanding a greater share of the gas-rich province's resources.

Taliban and other militants also operate in the province, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran. 

TRTWorld and agencies