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Islamic State Claims Pakistan Mosque Bombing as Death Toll Rises to 15

Pakistani officials raised the death toll from a mosque bombing in the country's southwest to 15 people on Saturday, as the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The powerful explosion ripped through a mosque in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan province, during the evening prayers on Friday. It killed a senior police officer and 13 others. The bombing also wounded another 20 worshipers.

Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said another victim of the mosque bombing died of serious wounds in the city hospital raising the death toll to 15. He said two other victims were in critical condition.

The Islamic State group said the attack a suicide bombing it had carried out targeting Afghan Taliban. ISIS posted its claim on an ISIS Pakistan Telegram channel.

Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf Ahmadi in a statement denied any of his group's members had been present at the mosque.

A number of militant groups operate in Baluchistan province, where a secessionist group has waged a low-level insurgency for years.

Pakistan’s government claims it has quelled the insurgency, but violence has continued.

Baluchistan shares a long border with Afghanistan and Iran.


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