IS claims Pakistan bombing as death toll rises to 15

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani officials raised the death toll from a mosque bombing in the country’s southwest to 15 people yesterday, as the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan province, during the evening prayers on Friday. It killed a senior police officer and 13 others.

The bombing also wounded another 20 worshipers.

Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said another victim of the mosque bombing died of serious wounds in the city hospital raising the death toll to 15. He said two other victims were in critical condition. The IS group said the attack was a suicide bombing it had carried out targetting Afghan Taleban.

The IS posted its claim on an IS Pakistan Telegram channel.

Taleban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf Ahmadi in a statement denied any of his group’s members had been present at the mosque.

A number of militant groups operate in Baluchistan province, where a secessionist group has waged a low-level insurgency for years.

Pakistan’s government claims it has quelled the insurgency, but violence has continued.

A Pakistani examines the aftermath of Friday’s bomb explosion inside a mosque in Quetta, Pakistan. PHOTO: AP