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15 killed, 20 injured as suicide blast hits shrine in SW Pakistan
From:Xinhua  |  2017-10-05 22:57

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Photo taken with mobile phone on Oct. 5, 2017 shows local people gather at the blast site in southwest Pakistan's Jhal Magsi. At least 15 people were killed and 20 others injured when a suicide blast ripped through a shrine in Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province on Thursday evening, local Urdu media reported. (Xinhua/Stringer)

ISLAMABAD, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- At least 15 people were killed and over 20 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance gate of a shrine in Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province on Thursday evening, officials said.

Confirming the death toll, spokesperson of Balochistan government, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar said that the killed people also included a policeman.

Provincial Home Minister of Balochistan Sarfraz Bugti said the blast happened during the Urs (death anniversary of the shrine's saint) celebrations at the Fateh Pur shrine.

He said the bomber blew himself up near the entrance gate of the portion allocated for women in the shrine, located in Jhal Magsi area, some 300 km away from provincial capital of Quetta.

The minister said the bomber tried to enter the shrine, but blew himself up when the on-duty policeman stopped him for frisking.

Police said there were around 800 to 1,000 people inside the shrine when the incident happened.

The shrine is located at a remote place and the nearest hospital in the area can only accommodate 12 people, so the rescue teams are shifting the injured people to hospital in neighboring districts.

Locals said the death toll is feared to rise as it may take rescue teams two to three hours to reach the hospitals in neighboring areas.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Investigations into the incident are underway.

This is the third suicide attack on shrines in Balochistan over the last one year. Both of the previous attacks were claimed by the ISIS.