JHAL MAGSI: At least 18 people lost their lives and many more injured in a suicide blast at the Fatehpur shrine in Balochistan's Jhal Magsi district on Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner Asadullah Kakar confirmed the death toll and said, "A suicide bomber blew himself up after he was intercepted by police guards on duty outside the shrine".

"The suicide bomber struck outside the shrine at a time when it was packed with people, attending anniversary celebrations of Syed Cheesal Shah," Kakar said.

He also confirmed that one police constable was killed while attempting to stop the suicide bomber from entering the shrine.

Two other policemen were also injured in the blast. The injured were transferred to DHQ hospital for treatment.

The local administration also declared an emergency at hospitals in Sibbi and Dera Murad Jamali.  

Speaking to a private channel, Balochistan Home Minister, Sarfraz Bugti said he had received news of the blast and has instructed concerned authorities to respond immediately.

He said that they are collecting information regarding the blast and it will be inappropriate to say anything at the moment.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has condemned the attack on the shrine. He said terrorists have no religion and the killers of Baloch people are enemies of the state.

The premier added that the state will respond with full force and will not allow terrorists to disturb the peace of the nation.

Rescue teams along with law enforcement agencies have reached the spot and started their operations.

A heavy deployment of security forces has initiated search operation in the area. He also ordered the best possible medical care for the injured. Jhal Magsi is a district located in central Balochistan which is almost 294 km away from the provincial capital Quetta.