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Iran strongly condemns terrorist blast in Pakistan

07 October 2017

The attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, took place when there was a heavy rush of devotees who had gathered at the shrine in the village of Jhal Masgi, located about 400 km from Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack yet, but Pakistan's officials often blame extremist groups such as Baluchistan's separatist insurgent group for such terrorist acts.

Mohammad Iqbal, a district police chief, said five children, a woman and one police officer were among those 20 people killed in the bombing. The constable who actively stopped the bomber at the entrance of the shrine, was identified as Bahar Khan, according to reports.

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Later, addressing reporters, Balochistan home minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that so far it appeared to be a suicide attack. This was also the second attack on the Pir Rakhel Shah shrine since 2005. Local TV footage showed people crying for help in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The claim by the IS affiliate in Pakistan came later Thursday, in a statement posted on the Islamic State-linked Aamaq news agency.

Ghasemi, Spokesman of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shared sympathies with Pakistani nation, government and victims' families adding "these brutal attacks are aimed at causing insecurity in Pakistan and spearing sedition and religious disputes".

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The suicide explosion left at least 18 people killed and 25 others wounded.

In February of this year, at least 75 people were killed in an attack on Pakistan's Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine, in the southern city of Sehwan in the Sindh province.

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Iran strongly condemns terrorist blast in Pakistan