CTD registers case as Mastung suicide blast death toll rises to 59
Among the dead is a police officer who was apparently the target of the suicide bomber
MASTUNG (Dunya News) - Death toll of Mastung sucidie blast rose to 59 on Saturday, as Quetta's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) registered a first information report (FIR) of the case.
A powerful blast had rocked Balochistan's Mastung district on Friday.
The dead and the injured were initially shifted to the DHQ Hospital and other infirmaries. The incident took place at a bazaar near Madina Masjid on Al Falah Road. Rescue 1122 ambulances, police and Bomb Disposal Squad officials reached the crime scene.
A state of emergency has been declared in all hospitals. Security forces cordoned off the area soon after the incident.
DSP Nawaz Gashkori was among the dead. According to a spokesman of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Balochistan, a suicide bomber blew himself in a gathering of people.
Among the dead are seven children aging between 9 and 13.
Mastung DC Abdur Razzaq said majority of the injured were shifted to Quetta. Mastung Assistant Commissioner (AC) Atta-ul-Munim said that the explosion took place when people were gathering for an Eid Miladun Nabi procession near Madina Masjid on Alfalah Road.
The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) denied it had carried out the attack.
Earlier this month, at least 11 people, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Hafiz Hamdullah, were injured in a blast in the same district.
Interim Sindh Chief Minister Maqbool Baqar condemned the blast, according to a statement from his spokesperson.
In a statement, the chief ministersaid that those involved in taking the lives of innocent people are the "enemies of humanity".
مستونگ میں دہشت گرد حملے کی شدید مذامت کرتے ہیں- معصوم جانوں کی زندگی ختم کرنے والے ظالم اور دہشت گرد ہیں- پوری قوم اس مشکل گھڑی میں اپنے مستونگ کے لوگوں کے ساتھ کھڑی ہے- امید ہے قانون نافذ کرنے والے ادارے جلد ان ظالموں کو کیفر کردار تک پہنچائیں گے— Imran Ismail (@ImranIsmailPTI) September 29, 2023
PTI leader and former Sindh governor Imran Ismail strongly condemned the blast, saying that those who “end innocent lives are oppressors and terrorists”. He hoped that law enforcement agencies would soon catch the culprits.
"The bomber detonated himself near the vehicle of the Deputy Superintendent of Police," Deputy Inspector General of Police Munir Ahmed told Reuters, adding that blast took place near a mosque where people were gathering for a procession to mark Prophet Mohammad (SAW)'s birthday, which is a public holiday.
وزیر داخلہ سرفراز احمد بگٹی کی مستونگ میں مدینہ مسجد کے قریب دھماکے کی شدید مذمت، دھماکے میں قیمتی جانوں کے ضیاع پر گہرے دکھ اور افسوس کا اظہار، عید میلاد النبی کے جلوس میں شرکت کیلئے آئے معصوم لوگوں پر حملہ انتہائی قبیح عمل ہے، دہشت گردوں کا کوئی دین اور مذہب نہیں ہوتا.— Ministry of Interior GoP (@MOIofficialGoP) September 29, 2023
Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti called the blast was a "very heinous act".
President, PM strongly condemn Mastung blast
President Dr Arif Alvi and Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Friday strongly condemned the blast that took place in Mastung, near the Eid Miladun Nabi (PBUH) procession. Expressing their deep grief over the loss of precious lives, they sympathised with the victims’ families.
The president and prime minister prayed to Allah Almighty for peace of the departed souls and strength for the bereaved families to bear the loss with fortitude. Praying for the early recovery of the injured, they directed the authorities concerned to provide the best possible medical facilities to them.
PM Kakar reiterated that the government was fully resolved to eliminate terrorism from the country.
'Three-day mourning announced'
Balochistan caretaker Chief Minister Ali Mardan Khan Domki has announced three-day mourning across the province following the tragedy while Achakzai said the national flag will fly at half-mast on government buildings during the mourning period.
-- Additional input from Reuters