Three killed in Quetta suicide blast targeting pilgrims' bus

Jan 01 2014

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The pilgrims were coming from neighboring Iran to Quetta when they were targeted. -Photo by Syed Ali Shah
The pilgrims were coming from neighboring Iran to Quetta when they were targeted. -Photo by Syed Ali Shah
The pilgrims were coming from neighboring Iran to Quetta when they were targeted. -Photo by Syed Ali Shah
The pilgrims were coming from neighboring Iran to Quetta when they were targeted. -Photo by Syed Ali Shah

QUETTA: At least three people were killed and thirty injured in a suicide attack in Quetta, the capital of militancy-hit Balochistan province on Wednesday.

Police said a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the bus carrying Shia pilgrims in Akhtarabad area of Quetta.

The pilgrims were coming from neighboring Iran to Quetta when they were targeted. The injured include women, children and five police personnel.

Syed Ahmed Mobeen, the Deputy Inspector General Police told Dawn.com that the suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the passenger bus.

"We have found the legs of suicide bomber from the spot," he added.

The injured were immediately rushed to nearby Bolan Medical Complex Hospital for medical treatment.

Security in and around BMC hospital was tightened to avoid occurrence of another untoward incident.

Emergency was imposed in the hospital and doctors and paramedics were called to treat the injured. The strength of the blast severely damaged the police vehicle as well.

Mobeen said the pilgrims bus caught fire after the blast. Fire fighters were rushed from Quetta city to put off the roaring flames of the fire.

Frontier Corps and Police were quick to the site of the attack. The road was blocked as an investigation into the incident was now underway.

Militants have been targeting the pilgrims coming from Iran for last more than six years in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan. Security was placed on high alert in and around Quetta on the eve of new year.

However, despite strict security the suicide bomber managed to target the pilgrims' bus.

The attack in Quetta has drawn strong condemnation from numerous political figures.

Prme Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain have condemned the terrorist attack in the strongest terms.

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali and Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Altaf Hussain have also condemned the attack.

The Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) have also condemned the attack and lashed out at the government for being unable to stop terrorist attacks in the country.

The MWM have also announced three days of mourning.