More than two dozen people have been killed in a bomb attack in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan.
The bombing was carried out near a mosque in the town of Mastung shortly after Friday prayers. The town is located 50 kilometers from the provincial capital, Quetta.
Shafi Zehri, a hospital doctor in Mastung, said over 35 people were also injured.
The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing, which was apparently meant to target the convoy of Deputy Chairman of Senate Abdul Ghafoor Haideri as it exited the mosque. Local reports said Haideri had suffered minor injuries in the blast. He was transferred to Quetta for treatment.
Anwar Haq Kakar, a representative of Balochistan's local government, said Haideri was in a "safe and sound" condition.
"I am alive, Allah (God) 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 told local TV. The driver and two companions later died of injuries.
The official was on his way back to Quetta after distributing graduation certificates to students from a religious seminary.
Kakar said some of those injured in the blast were transferred by air to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Quetta.
The majority of the casualties were Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) members, some in a critical condition, according to local sources.
In 2014, JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman was injured in a bombing targeting his vehicle during a JUI-F rally in Quetta. Rehman had survived two other attempts on his life in March 2011, when he was targeted in two back-to-back attacks.
Iran condemns the deadly attack
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the attack and offered condolences to the Pakistani government and nation over the death of the Pakistani nationals.
He said the “the ever-increasing acts of terror and the region’s instability are plotted by the ill-wishers who benefit from Muslim countries’ insecurity.”
Eradicating this ominous phenomenon requires the resolve of those willing to firmly fight terrorism, Qassemi stated, adding that the Islamic republic of Iran has repeatedly warned about the threat of terrorism in some neighboring countries, and has expressed readiness for cooperation to fight the scourge.