QUETTA: The death toll in a twin suicide attack near the Pak-Iran border Taftan reached 24 on Monday, including four terrorists, a senior administration official said.
Earlier, 22 people had been reported killed.
Qambar Dashti, the Commissioner Quetta Division, told Dawn.com that 14 out of the total 18 injured persons were in critical condition. “We have shifted all the injured persons to Combined Military Hospital in Quetta for treatment,” he said.
The dead bodies and injured were shifted in six army helicopters from Pak-Iran border Taftan to Quetta on Monday morning. “We will hand over the dead bodies to their heirs after completing identification,” Dashti said.
Akbar Hussain Durrani, the Home Secretary of Balochistan, told Dawn.com that ten buses carrying Shia pilgrims had entered Pakistan from Iran on Sunday evening. “When the buses were parked at two hotels, there were explosions,” Durrani said.
He said the blasts were followed by intense firing near the hotels. “We fear rise in casualties,” he added.
Frontier Corps and Levies personnel were called to bring the situation under control.
However, the spokesman for Frontier Corps, Khan Wasey, told Dawn.com that the forces killed the remaining two terrorists during the operation averting another terror act close to the hotel.
He said the forces were deployed in and around the hotel and sweeping was conducted in the area to avoid another attack.
A Sunni-militant group Jaishul Islam has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Militants have been attacking Shia pilgrims in Mastung and other parts of Balochistan for more than eight years.
Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai and Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch have strongly condemned the incidents and termed it a pre-planned conspiracy to destroy the peace of the province.
In their separate statements, they have directed law enforcement agencies to double their efforts to arrest the perpetrators of the terrorists attacks.