At least three persons including a prayer leader were martyred and 23 others injured in a blast at a mosque near Pashtoonabad area of Quetta on Friday. According to police, the explosion took when a large number of people were present at Rehmania Masjid for offering Friday prayers. Prayer leader Maulvi Attah-ur-Rehman, Shahzaib and Sultan were martyred and 23 other faithfuls were injured in the incident. Security forces including police team reached the site and shifted the bodies and the injured to Sandmen Civil Hospital’s trauma center. Three of the injured are stated to be in serious condition. The injured were identified as Rashid Ali, Sradar Muhammad, Rozi Muhammad, Sarwar Khan, Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Haji Abuld Rehman, Naseer Khan, Ajmal Khan, Hikmat, Saeed Ahmed, Dilshad, Mushtaq, Ghull Shah Wali, Fida, Habibullah, Asif, Samiullah, Nasir, Khuwaja Muhammad, Nooruddin, Reheem Dad and two children Younus and Yaqoob.The hospital sources said 18 of the injured have been discharged after completion of medical aid. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema confirmed the casualties and said the attack was carried out through an improvised explosive device (IED). According to Cheema, the blast occurred before Friday prayers started.There has been no claim of responsibility as yet. The DIG said that out of 618 mosques, 100 have been provided with security. He added that 1,500 police officials have been posted across the city.Speaking to a private TV channel, a mosque administration official said the blast occurred at 1:15pm and that there were approximately 30 to 40 people in the mosque for Friday prayers at that time. The explosion also shattered windowpanes of the houses nearby.Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani condemned the blast and summoned a report on the incident. He expressed grief over the deaths and multiple injuries caused by the blast. “Those who make innocent people the target of terrorism in this blessed month and on this blessed day deserve a severe punishment,” he said, while ordering security measures in the city to be further strengthened. Alyani also condoled with the families of the deceased and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.Following the blast, the security forces cordoned off the entire area and started investigation. Provincial Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Longov visited the Sandman Hospital to inquire after the injured and meet their families. He also directed the duty doctors to ensure all facilities to the injured during their treatment. President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the blast. In a statement, Dr Arif Alvi expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss or precious lives and prayed for early recovery of the injured. He termed the incident a conspiracy against Pakistan’s development. He said the whole nation stands united against terrorism.The prime minister sought report into the incident from the authorities concerned and directed for provision of the best possible healthcare facilities to those injured. He also prayed for their early recovery.