At least 22 people were killed and over 30 others were injured on Tuesday as a coach carrying Shia pilgrims was attacked in Mastung district of southwestern Pakistani province Balochistan, said officials.
They said the coach was coming from Taftan, an area bordering Iran near Quetta, when an explosion ripped though the area in Darin Garh area of Mastung killing at least 22 people including women and children. The Provincial Home Secretary, Asadur Rehman Gilani said that two buses had been traveling together with security vehicles provided by the government and that the bomb struck one of the buses.
The Assistant Commissioner in Mastung, Shafqat Anwar said the buses, carrying 51 pilgrims, were returning from Iran to Quetta and caught fire after the blast. He further said that "two vehicles of forces escorting the pilgrims' buses were also damaged in the blast." The security forces immediately reached the site of the incident along with the fire fighters to extinguish the flames. The injured people were shifted to the nearest hospitals and emergency was imposed in all government run hospitals of the provincial capital Quetta city to provide medical treatment.
Chief Minister of Balochistan, Dr Malik Baloch condemned the attack on the pilgrims' buses and ordered inquiry into the incident. Banned militant group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the bombing. On January 1st, an explosives-laden vehicle targeted a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims in Hazar Ganji area of Quetta, killing atleast one and injuring 34 others