Pakistani police said that a powerful bomb went off inside a mosque during Friday prayers on the outskirts of the southwestern city of Quetta, killing at least five worshippers and wounding dozens.

[File Picture] A member of the bomb disposal unit surveys the site after a motorcycle bomb blast near a police station in Quetta, Pakistan July 30, 2019.
[File Picture] A member of the bomb disposal unit surveys the site after a motorcycle bomb blast near a police station in Quetta, Pakistan July 30, 2019. (Reuters Archive)

An explosion at a mosque in southwest Pakistan killed at least five people and injured over a dozen others, police and local media reported.

Latest in a series of similar attacks, the explosion took place after Friday prayers in the main hall of a Mosque in suburban Kuchlak town of Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, local broadcaster Geo News reported quoting police officials.

Initial reports suggested it was a time device blast and no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pictures aired by Geo News showed the prayer hall was strewn with pieces of broken windows and glasses, blood-soaked caps, and other belongings.

TRT World spoke to Islamabad-based journalist Kamran Yousaf for more details.

The large Balochistan province, which is also considered to cover parts of neighbouring Iran and Afghanistan, is strategically important due to its rich copper, zinc and natural gas reserves.

Over the course of the last decade, the province — especially capital Quetta — has faced a deadly wave of sectarian violence in which over 2,200 people have been killed.

The province is also a key route of $64 billion mega-project, Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (PCEC), which aims to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Balochistan’s Gwadar port through a network of roads, railways, and pipelines to transport cargo, oil, and gas.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies