Pakistan Quetta bus attack
Balochinstan has been reeling under severe separatist insurgency for yearsNaseer Ahmed/Reuters

Around 10 people were killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing attack outside a Shia mosque in Pakistan's Balochistan province on 22 October. The male suicide bomber, reportedly wore a burqa -- the traditional Islamic dress worn by women -- to deceive guards and enter the mosque.

He went to the "imambargah" (mosque), in Goth Chalghari area of Bolan district, during sunset prayers and triggered his explosives-laden vest. Six children and some women were among those killed in the attack.

"Ten people have died and over a dozen are injured. They have been shifted to the local health centre," Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti told the Dawn newspaper. Rescue efforts have been affected as there is only one basic health unit in the area, that too, without a qualified doctor or proper medical facilities.

Authorities have claimed that the male suicide bomber was aged between 18 and 20. He went unchecked by guards outside the mosque, since he wore the burqa, and it is taboo for security officers to check women in Pakistan, who do not wish to unveil themselves.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which targeted minority Shia Muslims, who make up about 20% of Pakistan's population. Further, Taliban splinter groups in Pakistan have pledged allegiance to the Syria- and Iraq-based Islamic State militants, who have repeatedly targeted Shia Muslims. More than 1,400 incidents of violence targeting minority Shias and Hazara communities have taken place in the province in the past 15 years.

Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch, condemned the blast and said he was personally monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up across Pakistan, ahead of the two-day Shia festival of Ashura, which commemorates the death of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Police have set up extra checkpoints and imposed restrictions on movement in some areas. Mobile phone services will also be suspended in various cities in an attempt to foil remote-controlled bombings.