Suicide bomb in Pakistan: 10 killed in blast at Shia mosque


At least 10 people are dead after a suicide bomb at a Shia mosque in Pakistan.

Six children were killed and at least twenty people were wounded in the attack in the town of Bhaag, said the provincial home minister, Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti.

Baluchistan, an area in Eastern Pakistan, has been wracked by separatist violence and rising sectarianism for almost a decade.

The bomber, a man, was wearing a woman's head-to-toe burqa to deceive guards, Bugti said

No claim of responsibility has yet been made.

Security has been beefed up across Pakistan before the two-day Shia festival of Ashura. Public gatherings and marches are planned in most Pakistani cities on Friday and Saturday to commemorate the death of Hussain, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad.

Fears of violence have increased this year after Taliban splinter groups pledged allegiance to Islamic State, which has repeatedly targeted Shia Muslims. Analysts say Pakistani groups hoping for patronage want to impress Islamic State.

Mobile phone services will be suspended in cities in an attempt to foil remote-controlled bombings. Police have set up extra checkpoints and imposed restrictions on movement in some areas.

Shia Muslims total around 20 per cent of the Pakistani population. The rest are mostly Sunni.

Additional reporting by Reuters.