FM slams terrorist attack in Pakistan

Representational image

Representational image

Later, addressing reporters, Balochistan home minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that so far it appeared to be a suicide attack.

In August, a blast targeting military personnel killed 15 people and injured 32 in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan.

Balochistan government spokesman Anwarul Haq Kakar too confirmed that it was a suicide attack.

The Islamic State Khorasan Province - the Middle Eastern group's affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan - has since released a statement claiming the attack, according to the US-based monitoring group SITE.

The bomber reportedly detonated the explosives after being stopped by a police officer at the shrine in Jhal Masgi.

Hundreds of devotees were present at the shrine for a monthly gathering when the bomber hit.

Officials said earlier Thursday the incident came amid a new terror threat from four foreign agencies hostile to Pakistan.

"Such blind and cowardly attacks are aimed at creating insecurity in Pakistan and fomenting discord and religious conflicts".

The Friday morning attack near a shrine in Jhal Magsi District has lead to deaths of 18 people while as many as 22 people have also been injured. For Shiites, it was a time to mourn one of their imams, or saints. In March, 2005, at least 35 people were killed when a suicide bomber exploded himself at the shrine.

A greater push towards peace and development by authorities has reduced violence in recent years, but the remnants of militant groups are still able to carry out periodic attacks, particularly in the northwest.

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