Bombing in southwest Pakistan kills at least 4, wounds 13

Elias Hubbard
June 24, 2017

A suicide bomber killed at least 7 people, including four police officers, in an attack near a checkpoint in the Pakistani city of Quetta, officials told Reuters.

Medical Superintendent of the Civil Hospital of Quetta, Farid Ahmad, said that the death toll might further rise as seven of the injured are in critical condition. The second bomb went off when rescuers and bystanders were busy rescuing the victims of first blast.

Security forces have cordoned off the area.

Police said the blast occurred near the Shuhada Chowk on Gulistan Road, opposite the police chief's office.

The explosion near the police chief's office in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, was powerful enough that it was heard across the city, shattering windows of nearby buildings, said police spokesman Shahzada Farhat.

"The military sent two helicopters from Peshawar to ferry the ones that are in need of help", he said.

"It's possible the IG office was the target, or the assailants were trying to enter the (army) cantonment which is close by", he said.

The rescue operation in the area has been completed, DawnNews reported.

Abdul Razzaq Cheema, director general of police in Baluchistan province, told Reuters it appeared the bomber had detonated a vehicle packed with explosives.

Anwarul Haq Kakar, a spokesman for the provincial government, blamed neighboring India for the blast but offered no evidence to back up the allegation.

Officials said body parts of the suspected bomber, strewn across the site of the blast, were being collected along with other evidence for forensic examination.

Footage of the incident showed two vehicles badly damaged in the explosion, while debris lay scattered on the street.

Authorities said 11 people were killed and 24 wounded when twin blasts tore through a market in a mainly Shiite area of Pakistan's tribal belt, crowded with shoppers preparing for the Eid ul-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan. Later, a much bigger explosion occurred in the same market only meters away from the site of the first blast.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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