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At Least 25 Killed In IS Attack On Senior Pakistani Lawmaker


Pakistani security officials examine the site of a powerful explosion in Mastung district in the southwestern province of Balochistan on May 12.

Officials say an explosion has hit the convoy of Pakistan's deputy leader of parliament as it traveled in the southwestern province of Balochistan, killing at least 25 people and injuring more than 30 others.

Pakistani Senate Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri told journalists that he suffered minor injuries in the May 12 blast.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack on Haideri.

The Islamic State (IS) extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in the Mastung district as Haideri was coming out from a mosque.

District health official Sher Ahmed Satakzai said that at least 25 people were killed and 10 were in critical condition in the hospital.

The senator, who is being treated in hospital, was on his way back to Quetta after distributing graduation certificates to students who had graduated from a madrasah, or religious academy.

"I am alive. Allah has saved my life. It was a sudden blast. Broken pieces of the windscreen hit me. I am injured but safe," Haideri said on private TV channel SAMAA. "The driver and other people sitting next to me were badly injured."

The IS group's Amaq news agency said a bomber wearing an explosive vest was responsible for the attack.

Earlier, government spokesman Anwarul Haq Kakar said the explosion was caused by a roadside bomb, which he said wounded some members of Haideri’s Jamiat Ulema-e Islam religious political party.

Party leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman is known for his pro-Taliban and anti-U.S. stances.

Resource-rich Balochistan has been plagued by sectarian violence, Islamist militant attacks, and a separatist insurgency that has led to thousands of casualties since 2004.

With reporting by dpa, Reuters, AP, and AFP
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