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QUETTA: Two coordinated blasts targeting railway tracks hit near the Rawalpindi-bound Jaffar Express Friday, killing at least six people and leaving 18 others injured, railway officials said.

Initial reports suggest that a bomb was planted along the railway track in the Ab-e-Gum area of Balochistan's Bolan district. The second explosion took place in the same area 20 minutes later.

"There was another blast after the first one with an interval of 20 minutes at the same spot," Hameed Gul, a senior railway official, told reporters.

-Photo by Asmatullah Kakar
-Photo by Asmatullah Kakar

All the injured have been shifted to Quetta where an emergency has been declared at all state-run hospitals.

Ten people who were injured where shifted to Combined Military Hospital via helicopter. Hospital sources described the condition of five of those injured as critical.

Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri strictly condemned the attack and directed the Inspector General of Police Balochistan to hold an inquiry and submit a report in this regard.

He also directed the chief secretary to submit a report within 24 hours and install secret cameras at all railway stations and bus stops.

The train service was restored between Quetta and other parts of the country after technical staff repaired the damaged portion of the track.

The Jaffar Express, which was targeted in the twin blasts, also continued on to Rawalpindi after clearance.

Earlier in January, two bogies of the Jaffar Express were partially damaged in an explosion near railway tracks in Mithri area of Balochistan's Sibi district. Furthermore in June this year, suspected terrorists had blown up a portion of the railway track in the Bakhtiarabad area of Balochistan's Bolan district.