18 killed several injured in Pakistan shrine blast

More than 12 dead several injured in Jhal Magsi blast

Deadly blast hits shrine in Pakistan's Balochistan

Pakistani officials say a suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in the country's southwest has killed at least 18 people and wounded more than 30.

In a similar incident in Khazdar district of Balochistan, at least 52 people were killed and more than 100 others were wounded previous year.

The Islamic State Khorasan Province - the Middle Eastern group's affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan - has since released a statement claiming the attack, according to the US-based monitoring group SITE.

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

The minister said that around 25 people were injured in the blast and they were shifted to different hospitals.

The bombing took place at the entrance of the shrine, Dargah Fatehpur, in the Jhal Magsi district of the volatile province, as scores of people had gathered for Thursday's prayers that were to follow the "dhamaal".

Speaking to a private channel, Balochistan Home Minister, Sarfraz Bugti said he had received news of the blast and has instructed concerned authorities to respond immediately. The village is about 400km east of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.

Hundreds of devotees were present at the shrine for a monthly gathering when the bomber hit.

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

Deputy Commissioner of Jhal Magsi, Asadullah Kakar, told reporters, adding that the administration had declared an emergency in the district and nearby hospitals, and additional doctors and paramedical staff had also been called in.

Shrines across Pakistan have been attacked in past by extremists who consider it un-Islamic to praying at the tombs of saints.

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