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Pakistan: IED explosion at Balochistan mosque kills 2

At least two people were killed and more than two dozen injured after a blast at a mosque in southwestern Pakistan during Friday prayers, officials said.

Provincial police chief Mohsin Hassan Butt said the explosion on August 16 – the latest violence in a string of attacks in restive Balochistan province – was caused by a remotely detonated bomb in the town of Kuchlak.

“Two people including the prayer leader of the mosque have been killed and 25 others were wounded in an IED blast at a mosque,” he said.

A second police official, Abdul Razzaq Cheema, confirmed the incident and casualty figures at the mosque, north of provincial capital Quetta.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest and poorest province bordering Afghanistan and Iran, is rife with Islamist, separatist and sectarian insurgencies, even as incidents of violence have significantly dropped elsewhere in Pakistan.

Militants still retain the ability to carry out attacks, including on major urban centres and tightly-guarded targets, and analysts have long warned that Pakistan is yet to tackle the root causes of extremism.

In May, at least person was killed and a dozen injured in a bombing at a mosque on the outskirts of Quetta.

On May 13, a bomb hidden under a motorbike in Quetta killed four police officers and wounded nine other people. That attack was claimed by Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan.

Just days earlier, Baloch Liberation Army separatists attacked a luxury hotel in Balochistan’s second city, Gwadar, killing five people including a Pakistani soldier.

In April, Iran and Pakistan agreed to set up a joint border “reaction force” following deadly attacks by militant groups along their frontier.

With reporting from AFP

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