Pakistan's deputy Senate leader wounded in roadside bombing

The area where the explosion took place is approximately 70 kilometres from provincial capital Quetta.

Later, senior police officer Abdul Razzaq Cheema confirmed that 15 people were killed in the attack and another 35 were wounded.

Deputy chairman of the Senate were slightly injured but in safe conditions, according to local reports.

A state of emergency has been declared in all state-run hospitals in Mastung and Quetta. "The driver and other people sitting next to me were badly injured", Haideri said on private TV channel SAMAA.

The Chairman Senate strongly condemned the suicide bomb blast, stating that terrorists can not deter nation's resolve against militancy through such coward attacks. His driver was killed in the attack.

Haideri is a member of the right-wing religious Jamaat Ulema Islam party's Fazl faction (JUI-F), and has been a senator since 2008.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which underscored the militants' continued ability to carry out high-profile attacks despite a protracted military crackdown that's underway in several parts of the country, including Pakistan's border regions with neighboring Afghanistan.

Mastung police official Ghazanfar Ali Shah said the convoy appeared to have been hit by a suicide bomber.

The blast took place in the town of Mastung, about 50km south of Balochistan's provincial capital of Quetta on Friday. Television footage showed a vehicle mangled by the blast.

Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri told Reuters minutes after the blast that he believed he was the target and he had sustained minor injuries. "There are many casualties as there were many people in the convoy", Haidri told Reuters. Separatist militants have been fighting in Balochistan for decades.

  • Leroy Wright


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