A powerful bomb has exploded at a rally celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad in southwest Pakistan, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 50 others, officials and media reports say.
The bombing, which also killed a police officer, occurred on Friday in Mastung, a district in Balochistan province, said government administrator Atta Ullah.
“It seems a suicide attack” senior local police officer Javed Lehri said, adding that the bomber blew himself up near the vehicle of Deputy Superintendent of Police Nawaz Gishkori.
The injured were taken to nearby hospitals and some of them were in a critical condition, he said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
The country’s interior ministry confirmed a blast carried out by “terrorist elements”.
“The attack on innocent people who came to participate in the procession of Eid Milad-ul-Nabi is a very heinous act,” it said in a statement, referring to the prophet’s birthday.
Muslims in Pakistan and around the world celebrate the birthday of Islam’s prophet by holding public gatherings.
While the celebration is accepted by a majority of Islamic sects, certain denominations view it as an unwarranted innovation.
Balochistan has in the past been the site of attacks by armed groups.
Earlier this month, at least 11 people, including a prominent religious leader, were injured in a blast in the same district, the Dawn newspaper said.