Pakistan official: Bomb at Quetta mosque kills 2, wounds 28
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A bombing Friday at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Quetta, the capital of restive Baluchistan province, killed two people, including the prayer leader, and wounded 28 worshippers, officials said.
The blast took place at the mosque in the city’s Pashtoonabad neighborhood during Friday prayers, according to Abdul Razzak Cheema, deputy inspector of police.
The bomb was set off remotely, said Cheema, adding that a bomb squad was dispatched to the site and was investigating. The bomb squad said 2.5 kilograms of explosive material was used in the devise that blew out windows in the building and partially destroyed the ceiling.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but it appeared that the prayer leader was the target. Saleem Abro, from Quetta’s main civilian hospital, said 28 people were wounded.
Sectarian violence, mostly targeting Pakistan’s minority Shiite Muslims, has left hundreds dead in recent years in Baluchistan. However, the Pashtoonabad neighborhood in Quetta is a Sunni majority area and the mosque was attended by Sunni Muslims.
Militant groups belonging to both sects operate in the area. Baluchistan is also plagued by insurgency by secessionist groups seeking more autonomy or independence for the province.