The death toll in a twin suicide attack the Pakistani town of Taftan, which is near the border with Iran, reached 24 on Monday, including four terrorists, a senior administration official said.
Akbar Hussain Durrani, the Home Secretary of Balochistan, said that ten buses carrying Shia pilgrims had entered Pakistan from Iran on Sunday evening, Dawn reported.
"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.
Qambar Dashti, the Commissioner Quetta Division, told Dawn 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.
Pakistan’s Frontier Corps and Levies personnel were called to bring the situation under control.
A Sunni-militant group Jaishul Islam claimed responsibility for the attack.
Militants have been attacking Shia pilgrims in Mastung and other parts of Balochistan for more than eight years.
Governor of Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai and Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Malik Baloch strongly condemned the incidents and termed it a pre-planned conspiracy to destroy the peace of the province.
In their separate statements, they directed law enforcement agencies to double their efforts to arrest the perpetrators of the terrorists attacks.
Taliban attack airport in Karachi, 27 dead
Meanwhile, Taliban militants disguised as security forces stormed Pakistan's busiest airport on Sunday and at least 27 people were killed in a night-long battle at one of the country's most high-profile targets.
According to Reuters, the attack began just before midnight when 10 gunmen wearing military uniforms and armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades shot their way into the airport's old terminal, which is used mainly for charter and executive flights.
Gun battles raged through the night until security forces regained control of the airport at dawn. Passengers were evacuated and all flights were diverted.
Director general of the military's media wing, Asim Bajwa, said the airport had been cleared and would soon resume operations. The government said security was being stepped up at all airports.
The weapons that were been recovered from the terrorists had Indian label on it, the Pakistani Nation quoted a security official as saying.
The Pakistani Taliban, an alliance of insurgent groups fighting to topple the government and set up a sharia state, said they carried out the attack in response to air strikes on their strongholds near the Afghan border and suggested their mission was to hijack a passenger plane.
"It is a message to the Pakistan government that we are still alive to react over the killings of innocent people in bomb attacks on their villages," said Shahidullah Shahid, a Taliban spokesman.
"The main goal of this attack was to damage the government, including by hijacking planes and destroying state installations."
The assault on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan's sprawling commercial hub of 18 million people, all but destroys prospects for peace talks between the Pakistani Taliban and the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
It also deals a heavy blow to Sharif's efforts to attract foreign investors to revive economic growth and raises questions about security at the country's main installations.
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