Pakistan: Deadly bomb blast targets Friday prayers in Quetta

Pakistani police said a powerful bomb went off inside a mosque during Friday prayers, killing at least four people.

    The blast was the result of a timed device planted under the chair of the prayer leader [Saadullah Akhter/Al Jazeera]
    The blast was the result of a timed device planted under the chair of the prayer leader [Saadullah Akhter/Al Jazeera]

    A powerful bomb went off inside a mosque during Friday prayers in southwest Pakistan, killing at least four people and wounding 20, adding the death toll could rise.

    Police said the imam of the mosque, located in the town of Kuchlak some 25km from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, was killed in the explosion.

    "The blast was carried out through a timed device that was planted under the wooden chair of the prayer leader," Quetta's chief of police Abdul Razzaq Chmeea told Reuters news agency.

    Cheema added that the wounded were taken to nearby hospitals in Quetta,

    No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.

    Rich in mineral and fuel resources, Balochistan is Pakistan's largest and least populated province.

    It has seen regular violence in recent years, with attacks claimed by Baloch separatists, Pakistani Taliban and local affiliates of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group.

    Balochistan is seeing a number of new infrastructure projects launched, including the port at Gwadar, as part of the $60bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, a joint venture between the Pakistani and Chinese governments.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies