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Pakistan Mosque Blast Kills 15, Including Senior Police Officer

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A soldier stands guard at the mosque hit by the bomb blast.

A senior police officer and 14 other people have been killed in a suicide bomb blast in the Pakistani southwestern city of Quetta, officials say.

Balochistan Province's Home Minister Ziaullah Langove said 19 people were also wounded in the January 10 explosion, which took place during evening prayers at a mosque in a satellite town of Quetta, the provincial capital.

Some of the injured were said to be in a critical condition.

Langove said a suicide bomber detonated explosives attached to his body among the worshipers.

The Islamic State (IS) extremist group claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it was a suicide attack.

A deputy superintendent of police was among those killed.

A cleric leading the prayers, as well as associates and relatives of a prominent Taliban leader also died in the explosion, reports said.

The mosque was said to be part of an Islamic seminary run by the Afghan Taliban.

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

On January 7 in Quetta, a bomb blast hit a paramilitary force vehicle, killing two troops.

Hizbul Ahrar, an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack.

That attack was claimed by Jamaat ul-Ahrar (JuA), a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban.

With reporting by dpa
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