QUETTA, July 13: The senior vice president of Pashtun Students Federation and five others were killed and at least 22 people injured on Friday when a bomb went off near a public meeting of the Awami National Party in Kuchlak, some 25km of Quetta.
The injured included provincial president of the ANP, Aurangzeb Kasi, his wife and ANP activists.
A seven-yaer-old girl, who was passing through the area at the time of the incident, was among the dead.
Police sources said unidentified men parked an explosive-laden bicycle behind the stage of the rally which went off when proceedings of the programme were about to get under way.
“Three people, including a girl and central senior vice president of PSF Malik Muhammad Qasim, were killed on the spot and many others injured in the powerful blast,” senior police officer Amir Muhammad Dasti said.
Soon after the incident police reached the scene of the explosion and shifted the bodies and the injured to civil hospital.
Three of the injured died in the hospital.
All the injured were then shifted to the Combined Military Hospital, Quetta, as treatment facilities at the civil hospital were found to be inadequate.
The explosive-laden bicycle was parked between three vehicles and the dais which proved to be a blessing as those vehicles worked as a cushion against the impact of the blast, a senior police officer told Dawn.
The official quoting bomb disposal squad said that seven to eight kilograms of explosive substance laced with ball bearings and metal pieces had been attached to the bicycle.
Whether the bomb was detonated by remote control or a timer was not clear and investigation into the incident was under way.
Three vehicles, two motorcycles and several shops were destroyed and windowpanes of over a dozen buildings and houses were shattered by the powerful explosion.
Those killed in the blast included Malik Muhammad Qasim, Malik Shah Faisal, Dost Muhammad and Noor Muhammad.
The injured included ANP Balochistan president Aurangzeb Kasi, Mehr Aurangzeb Kasi, Muhammad Yar, Abdul Raheem, Khan Wali, Muhammad, Ghulam Mohiyuddin, M. Zai, Sardar Rasheed, Inayatullah, M. Abbas, Aminullah, M. Sadiq, M. Karim, Shair Ali, Haji Akhtar, Abdul Karim, Haji Akhtar, Gul Muhammad, Khudae Raheem, Afzal Karim, Nasibullah and a child, Gul Sabah.No one claimed responsibility for the bomb attack.