Pakistani police: 15 killed in bombing that wounded lawmaker


At least five people were killed and 25 others including deputy chairman of Pakistan's Senate were injured after his convoy came under attack in the country's southwest Mustung district Friday afternoon, local media and officials said.

The blast took place when Haideri was coming out of a mosque after addressing a gathering during the Friday prayers in Mastung area of the province.

The most severely injured were airlifted to hospital in the provincial capital, Quetta. Senior police officer Abdul Razzaq Cheema said that 30 to 40 people were injured.

"It is a message to them that anyone who goes with the government will be targeted", he said, adding that it could also be that the IS targeted Haideri because of his party's close alliance with Afghanistan's Taliban.

"Twenty-five bodies have been shifted to two hospitals in Quetta", said a district health officer in Mastung. Haideri's vehicle, created to be bullet-resistant, was badly damaged along with several other vehicles in the convoy.

"It was a very powerful explosion just as we came out and sat in the auto". But latest reports suggest that the Senator's driver had been killed in the blast.

Senate's deputy chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri is from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) of Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

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The so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group said it carried out the attack using a suicide bomber. Television footage showed a vehicle mangled by the blast.

UPDATE 12.30: Pakistani police have raised the death toll from a huge bombing in the country's south-western Baluchistan province to 25.

The powerful explosion damaged several vehicles in the convoy, news channels reported.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned attack on the motorcade of Deputy Chairman Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in Mastung on Friday. Police said Haidri was in Mustung to attend ceremony at a seminary and the blast took place when he was leaving the area.

Separatist militants in Balochistan have waged a campaign against the central government for decades, demanding a greater share of the gas-rich province's resources.

"The attack was not aimed at an individual but the entire nation", Fazl told reporters.

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