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At Least 30 Killed at Shi'ite Religious Service in Pakistan


A powerful bomb explosion in southwestern Pakistan late Saturday has killed at least 30 worshipers and injured many others.

Local officials say the bomb ripped through a religious gathering in a remote town of southwestern Baluchistan province. Dozens of people were also injured in the powerful explosion and authorities are expecting the death toll to go up.

Witnesses say thousands of Shiite Muslims had gathered for an annual pilgrimage at the shrine of a Muslim saint in Fatehpur town and many were having their evening meals when the bomb went off.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Provincial authorities have condemned it as an act of terrorism. An investigation is under way but police officials say it is premature to suggest as to who was behind the deadly bombing.

Baluchistan is Pakistan's largest province and has a history of sectarian violence between militants from the majority Sunni and minority Shi'ite Muslim sects. Since the start of the year, the resource-rich province has seen bloody clashes between security forces and tribal militants fighting for more autonomy.

But there is no indication Saturday's attack is linked to the fighting at a town elsewhere in the province that left dozens of people dead on Thursday, including government forces.

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