Pakistan: 5 dead, 28 injured in explosion near cultural festival

An official said it was a suicide bombing. However, the investigation was ongoing.



AFP

By PTI

Published: Wed 9 Mar 2022, 10:18 AM

At least five members of the security forces were killed and 28 others injured on Tuesday in an explosion in Sibi district of Pakistan’s troubled southwestern Balochistan province during President Arif Alvi’s visit to the region. to attend an annual cultural festival, police said. The explosion took place near an open area where the festival was being held.

Five security personnel were killed in the blast, officials said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan, bordering Iran and Afghanistan, is home to a long-standing violent insurgency. Baloch insurgent groups have already carried out several attacks targeting China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and security personnel in the region.

According to local media, the blast took place after President Alvi, who had attended the annual festival, left the area.

“The explosion took place 30 minutes after President Alvi attended the festival in Sibi,” the head of the counter-terrorism department, Hafeez Rind, was quoted by the Dawn newspaper as saying.

Rind said it appeared to be a suicide bombing. However, the investigation was ongoing.

At least 28 injured people were taken to the civilian hospital, while five of them were in critical condition, Balochistan health department coordinator Dr Wasim Baig said.

The civilian hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Sarwar Hashmi, said most of the injured were security personnel. Five of the seriously injured were transferred to Quetta, the provincial capital, Hashmi added.

Baluchistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo strongly condemned the attack and ordered authorities to provide the best possible medical care to those injured in the blast.

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On Friday, a Daesh suicide bomber blew himself up in a Shia mosque in Peshawar during a meeting, killing 63 people and injuring more than 200 others.

On March 2, a bomb exploded near a police van on Fatima Jinnah Road in Quetta, killing three people, including a senior police officer, and injuring 24 others.

At least 20 militants and nine soldiers were killed in the attack on security forces in the Panjgur and Naushki region of Balochistan on February 2

Darcy J. Skinner