Pakistan suicide blasts: Death toll rises to 65; minister alleges India’s role
Pakistan’s interior minister Sarfaraz Bugti said India’s intelligence agency RAW was involved in the suicide attacks in its Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces
Pakistan has blamed India’s spy agency RAW for the terrorist attack in its Balochistan and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces even as the death toll into the twin-bombings rose to 65 as of Sunday (October 1).
“Civil, military and all other institutions will jointly strike against the elements involved in the Mastung suicide bombing. RAW is involved in the suicide attack,” Pakistan’s interior minister Sarfaraz Bugti told the media in Balochistan’s capital, Quetta.
New Delhi is yet to respond to Islamabad’s allegations.
At least 60 people were killed and more than 60 others were injured in a grisly suicide blast on Friday in Balochistan that targeted a procession to celebrate Prophet Muhammad's birthday near the Madina Masjid at a place called Mastung. In the second bomb attack that took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu, targeting a police station’s mosque, five people were killed, and 12 others were injured as the mosque’s roof collapsed in the explosion’s impact, it said.
Counter-terrorism authorities said they have registered a first information report in connection with the Balochistan blast on Saturday.
Wasim Baig, the spokesperson for Quetta's Civil Hospital, where several of the injured were admitted, on Saturday said that the blast toll has now risen to 60. “The death toll of the Mustang blast has risen to 60. Among those injured at least 25 have been discharged,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, it was reported that 54 people were killed and over 100 others were injured as the powerful suicide blast ripped through the mosque. Hours later, another blast at the mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Hangu city had killed at least four people and injured 12 others. Mastung’s City Station House Officer Mohammad Javed Lehri confirmed on Friday that the explosion was a “suicide blast” and that the bomber exploded himself next to the Deputy Superintendent of Police’s car. On Saturday, the Dawn quoted a statement from the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) that said an FIR with murder charges and terrorism offences has been filed against an unidentified attacker.
“No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, however, the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan, denied its involvement,” the report added.
Uptick in terror activities
The CTD said the investigation into the incident was ongoing and no arrests have been made so far. Meanwhile, the caretaker government of Balochistan announced three days of mourning in the wake of the attack. The Pakistan daily also gave a chronological dataset to show how Pakistan has “witnessed an uptick in terror activities in recent months, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, after the TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November last year.”
Earlier this month, at least 11 people, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Hafiz Hamdullah, were injured in a blast in the same district; a week prior to that, a security official was gunned down at a bus stand by unidentified men. In May this year, unidentified attackers targeted a polio vaccination team in the Killi Sour Karez area on the outskirts of Mastung, resulting in a policeman being killed, it said.
(With inputs from agencies)