Pakistan senator's convoy bombed

2017-05-12 22:22
A "huge" explosion in Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province that apparently targeted a top senator's convoy killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 30 others. (Banaras Khan, AFP)

A "huge" explosion in Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province that apparently targeted a top senator's convoy killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 30 others. (Banaras Khan, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mastung - A suicide bomb blast that targeted the convoy of a top senator in southwest Pakistan killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 30 others, officials told AFP Friday.

The attack in Mastung district, roughly an hour east of provincial capital Quetta, struck a vehicle carrying the deputy chair of Pakistan's upper house Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri.

It was later claimed by the Islamic State group, which has been making inroads in the country through alliances with local militant outfits.

"I am alive, Allah has saved my life, it was a sudden blast, broken pieces of the windscreen hit me, I am injured but safe. The driver and other people sitting next to me were badly injured," Haideri said on private TV channel SAMAA.

Survivors, several covered in blood, were picking up body parts that lay scattered in the road among vehicles twisted by the blast.

Paramilitary troops and a bomb disposal squad were deployed outside a nearby madrassa where the convoy had been headed for a graduation ceremony.

Pakistani, Afghan, Chinese and Bangladeshi flags - the nationalities of students at the seminary - were on display ahead of the ceremony.

"The death toll has reached 17 and more than 30 people have been injured," said Dr Daad Muhammad, a hospital administrator.

A local government official and a senior police official confirmed to AFP that it was a suicide bombing and the attacker came riding a motorcycle and blew himself up close to Haideri's vehicle.


Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility via its Amaq news agency.

"A martyrdom-seeker from the Islamic State targeted with his explosive vest a convoy of the deputy chairman of the Pakistan Senate, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, in Mastung district, south of the city of Quetta," the group said.

Haideri is a top official of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), one of the country's most powerful religious political parties.

JUI-F has been targeted by the Pakistani Taliban in the past - even though the party leaders have acted as negotiators between the militants and Pakistan government on several occasions.

Pakistan has been battling Islamist and nationalist insurgencies in mineral-rich Balochistan since 2004, with hundreds of soldiers and militants killed in the fighting.

Bordering Iran and Afghanistan, it is the largest of Pakistan's four provinces, but its roughly seven million inhabitants have long complained they do not receive a fair share of its gas and mineral wealth.

A greater push towards peace and development by Pakistani authorities has reduced the violence considerably in recent years.

The push includes starting work on a massive Chinese infrastructure project - the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor - which gives Beijing a route to the Arabian Sea through Balochistan's deep sea port of Gwadar.

Read more on:    isis  |  pakistan

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.