At least 20 people were killed and several others injured on Sunday, in a suicide car bomb attack that targeted a convoy of three buses carrying Shia Muslims, who were returning from neighbouring Iran after a pilgrimage, in Pakistan’s restive southwest.

The pilgrims were on their way to Quetta from the Iranian city of Taftan when the buses were attacked in Mastung district’s Dringarh area, some 30 km south of Balochistan’s capital Quetta.

Eye witnesses said it was a suicide blast as a car slammed into one of the buses, which was carrying 45 passengers, blowing it up and destroying it, while two other buses also caught fire and were partially damaged.

Officials said 20 people were killed and several others injured in the attack.

Earlier this year, at least 14 people were killed in the Hazarganji area of Quetta when a bus carrying pilgrims from Taftan was targeted by a suicide bomber.

Sectarian attacks, especially those targeting the Hazara community of Shia Muslims, have been on the rise this year and officials said the passengers on the buses mostly belonged to the Shia sect.

These sectarian attacks have been blamed on the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban and other militant outfits.

Shias travel regularly to Taftan to perform pilgrimage.

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