At least thirty people were murdered and dozens more were injured on Friday in what officials thought to be a suicide assault at a religious gathering in southwest Pakistan. This is the latest indicator of the country’s worsening security situation and comes on the heels of an attack in which at least ten people were killed in northwest Pakistan.
The explosion took place around lunchtime in the district of Mastung, which is located in Balochistan Province. A parade consisting of hundreds of people that had assembled for Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, a celebration that celebrates the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, was the intended target of the attack.
The explosion was the most recent incident to shake Pakistan, which has been the target of increased activity from terrorist organisations over the past two years as a result of such groups having a safe haven in the neighbouring country of Afghanistan under the control of the Taliban.
During that time period, some of the worst assaults in the nation were carried out by the Pakistani Taliban, which is a terrorist group opposed to the government of Pakistan and has close relations to the Afghan Taliban. The Islamic State affiliate in the region was also responsible for several of these attacks. Over the past few years, assaults have been carried out in the Mastung district by an Islamic State affiliate known as Islamic State Khorasan, also known as ISIS-K.
Videos taken in the immediate aftermath of the incident and shared on social media showed hundreds of people congregating around victims that had been strewn over pools of blood.