QUETTA: A blast in a train at Balochistan's Sibi railway station on Tuesday killed 16 persons and wounded 40 others while setting it on fire and destroying one bogie.
DPO Sibi, Ghullam Abbas Tarar, confirmed that the death toll in Sibi blast had reached 16 with 40 persons injured.
Muhammad Tahir, a police official told Dawn.com on telephone from Sibi that militants targeted the passenger train through an improvised explosive device (IED)at Sibi Railway Station.
"When Pindi bound train reached railway station, there was a huge blast," he said.
The train caught fire from the powerful blast and 12 passengers were burnt to death.
"The dead are yet to be identified since they were badly burnt as a result of blast", Tahir further said.
He said the fire gradually spread and four bogies of passenger train caught fire adding that most of the injured suffered burn injuries.
The train was carrying hundreds of passengers when the blast took place.
BBC Urdu reported that the United Baloch Army claimed responsibility for the attack, .
Sher Khan Bazai, a senior administration official, confirmed the incident and said that “24 patients are in critical condition, they will be shifted to Quetta as soon as they are stable enough to travel."
He added that the injured included six women and four children.
|Image from the blast site —Photo by Online|
Earlier, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique had said that the involvement of a woman was suspected in the incident.
He further said that strict action would be taken against perpetrators of the incident.
Rafique said the same service had been attacked a few days earlier but there were no casualties.
“A few days ago terrorists had fired upon a train when it came out of a tunnel (in Balochistan), but they ran away when security forces responded to firing.
“The train was standing at Sibi railway station where FC and other law enforcement agencies are always alert. We will have to review the security and find out the cracks from where the terrorists slipped and planted the explosives,” he added.
Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that such incidents would not deter the commitment of government in its fight against terrorism.
Emergency and rescue teams reached the site and began shifting the casualties to hospitals for treatment.
Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr. Malik Baloch while strongly condemning the incident directed the health department to enforce and emergency at the Bolan Medical Complex Hospital and Civil Hospital.
Initial reports said there was no surgeon present at the facility which was also facing a shortage of medicines and other resources.
Other victims were also shifted to Quetta.
The federal and provincial governments ordered a probe into the blast.
The incident comes a day after security forces said they had killed 30 militants in operations conducted in Kalat and Khuzdar districts of the province.