At least five dead in an explosion at a mosque in Hangu town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, shortly after the Balochistan bombing.
Islamabad, Pakistan – At least five people were killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Hangu town in Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The blast came shortly after a similar incident on Friday in Mastung district in neighboring Balochistan province that killed at least 52 people and injured dozens more.
The two blasts shook Pakistan as Muslims celebrated the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad.
Rescue officials said there were between 30 and 40 people inside the mosque offering collective Friday prayers when the blast in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took place.
“We now have five confirmed casualties, while six others with serious injuries have been transferred to hospital,” Bilal Faizi, spokesperson for the Rescue 1122 helpline, told Al Jazeera.
Faizi said the explosion caused the roof of the mosque to collapse while Friday prayer sermons were taking place.
He said heavy machinery was being used to remove debris from the roof. It is feared that many people are still trapped under the rubble, he added.
Amir Rana, director of the Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, said both explosions appeared to be the work of the Islamic State (ISIS) group.
“This is an alarming development. We have historically seen ISIL and its affiliates target religious movements and centers of religious worship,” he told Al Jazeera.
Meanwhile, another armed group, the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has distanced itself from Friday’s two blasts.
Earlier this year, more than 100 people died in a bomb blast at a mosque in the police quarters of Peshawar city, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Pakistan has seen a dramatic increase in armed attacks this year, with more than 300 such incidents reported in the country’s northwest province alone.