A teen suicide bomber was at the heart of Saturday’s bombing of 52 people at a religious ceremony in southern Pakistan, a top official in Baluchistan province, a senior AFP spokesman said.
“It was a suicide bombing. We found pieces of the attacker’s body showing that he was between the ages of 16 and 18,” Sarfraz Bugti, the interior secretary of the province, said.
He said he was unable to confirm the group behind the attack but said: “All terrorist groups are the same and coordinate the attacks.
The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.
A government spokesman in Baluchistan said, however, that the attack killed “52 people and 105 wounded.”
“All the wounded were transferred to the hospital in military ambulances, the army is occupying the sanctuary and the accesses have been blocked, experts are working to gather evidence,” he added.
A survivor of the blast that was in the sanctuary with a group of 120 pilgrims when the attack occurred told AFP what lived: “The outbreak was so strong that people were blown.”
The children searched for their mothers and fathers, while others looked for their brothers and sisters, but there was no one to hear their cries, “said Mohammad Shehzad, 25.
The explosion occurred in the midst of a crowd at the shrine of Shah Noorani, a Sufi saint, a mystical branch of Islam considered heretical by some radical Islamist groups, including the Taliban.
About 600 people were in the shrine, which is situated in a remote mountainous region of Khuzdar district, some 760 kilometers south of Quetta, the provincial capital.