KARACHI: A powerful blast targeting a police vehicle in Balochistan has killed five people, including two Pakistani security personnel, and injured 38 others, a top police official said today.
The blast happened close to a police vehicle at the Bacha Khan Chowk in the remit of the City Police Station on Tuesday, Quetta’s Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) of police Abdul Razzaq Cheema said.
The target of the blast appeared to be the Station House Officer (SHO) of the area who received some injuries and has been shifted to a hospital, the DIG told reporters.
“The bomb went off as soon as SHO Shaffat got down from his vehicle,” he said, adding that the condition of the SHO is said to be critical.
Mr Cheema said it was too early to confirm whether it was a suicide attack or the blast caused by a remotely triggered device. However, the police said the bomb was planted in a motorcycle parked close to the patrolling vehicle. Five people, including two cops, were killed and 38 others injured in the attack.
Three people died on the spot, the police said.
The injured included women and children who were passing through the area when the bomb went off in the heart of the city. The condition of at least six of them was stated to be serious.
A contingent of the law enforcement agencies threw a security cordon around the area as rescuers continued evacuations.
The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the blast, according to a report in a leading Pakistani newspaper.
The injured and bodies of the dead were shifted to the Civil Hospital, where officials confirmed the number of deaths.
The impact of the blast was so strong that it shattered the glass windows of nearby shopping malls and damaged parked vehicles and motorcycles.
Balochistan Home Minister Mir Zia Langove said the government would not be cowed down by such attacks and the mission to purge the province of the menace of terrorism would continue.
Balochistan Governor (retired) Justice Amanullah Khan Yasinzai, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan and his cabinet members strongly condemned the bomb blast and expressed their grief and sorrow over the loss of lives of innocent people.
It was the second bomb explosion within the last seven days in Balochistan. On July 23, a blast had occurred in the Eastern Bypass area which left four people dead and 32 injured.