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Deadly blast hits shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan

More action less rhetoric

Local officials said the blast took place after a bomber detonated his explosives outside the site in Jhal Magsi district, which is located about 400 kilometers east of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.

He also prayed for the early recovery of the injured and directed the authorities concerned to provide all possible medical facilities to the injured.

"A suicide bomber blew himself up after he was intercepted by police guards on duty outside the shrine, killing 18 people including three children under the age of 12 and two policemen, and wounding at least 27 others, 14 of them seriously", provincial home secretary Akbar Harifal told AFP.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Balochistan government spokesman Anwarul Haq Kakar too confirmed that it was a suicide attack.

"The suicide bomber struck outside the shrine at a time when it was packed with people attending anniversary celebrations of Syed Cheesal Shah", said senior local administration official Asad Kakar, referring to the local saint.

Speaking to reporters, Deputy Commissioner Asadullah Kakar said that the attacker tried to enter the shrine and when he was stopped by the police at the main entrance, he blew himself up.

Bugti said the shrine was holding its annual Urs and hundreds of devotees from all over the country had come to the place to pay their respects.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack, saying that "terrorists have no religion" and that his government will act against militants with full might.

In November previous year, at least 52 people were killed in a bombing at a shrine in the Hub district south of Jhal Magsi.