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Pakistan mosque blast kills at least 13 - police

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QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - A blast at a mosque in Quetta in southwestern Pakistan on Friday killed at least 13 people, including a senior police officer, and injured 20 others, police said.

Police said an improvised explosive device had been planted at the mosque inside a seminary in the city, the capital of Balochistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

It exploded during evening prayers on Friday, the second bombing in Quetta this week.

“So far, 13 bodies and 20 injured have been brought here,” Dr Wasim Baig, spokesman for a local hospital told Reuters, adding that many of the injured were in serious condition.

A senior police officer, Haji Amanullah was among the dead. His son was killed by unknown persons last month.

A spokesman for Pakistan military said paramilitary troops were conducting a search operation around the site.

Mineral- and gas-rich Balochistan is at the centre of the $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.

Violence in Balochistan has fuelled concerns about the security of projects such as a planned energy link from western China to Pakistan’s southern port of Gwadar.

Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Catherine Evans