At least 10 people were killed and several others injured, including deputy chairman of the Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, in a powerful blast today in Pakistan’s south-western Balochistan province. The bombing targeted Haideri when he came out of a religious seminary after addressing a gathering in Mastung area of the province shortly after the weekly Friday prayers.

The area where the explosion took place is approximately 70 kilometres from provincial capital Quetta. Police said that 10 people were killed in the blast which was apparently a suicide attack.

Senior police officer Abdul Razzaq Cheema said that 30-40 people were injured. He said Haideri was slightly injured. Citing sources, Geo TV said Haideri has been shifted to the Civil hospital. “The blast was extremely powerful,” Haideri said.

Haideri later told Dunya TV in a brief chat that he received minor injuries. TV footage showed Haideri’s vehicle was badly damaged. He was sitting in the car at the time of the blast. His driver was killed in the attack. Haideri belongs to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

As per a report in Tribune, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has condemned the attack and has demanded a detailed report from the police. The area has been cordoned off the area and a search operation is underway. An emergency has also been announced at Mastung Civil Hospital.

It has not yet been established whether it was an improvised explosive device (IED) blast or a suicide attack. However, police are hinting at the explosion to be a suicide blast.