QUETTA: Security personnel pictured at the site of the blast on Tuesday.—AFP
QUETTA: Security personnel pictured at the site of the blast on Tuesday.—AFP

QUETTA: At least two people were killed and 14 others, including children and security personnel, wounded in a motorcycle bomb blast near a hospital in the Mecongi road shopping area here on Tuesday evening.

Police officials said the remote-controlled bomb was detonated when a Frontier Corps vehicle was patrolling the busy market place. “The target of miscreants was the official vehicle of the security forces,” Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langove confirmed while talking to the media.

Hizbul Ahrar, an offshoot of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the bomb attack that rocked the provincial capital, according to The Associated Press.

Most of the blast victims were passers-by and shopkeepers, the police said, adding that one shop caught fire while windowpanes of several shops and nearby buildings were damaged in the explosion.

While the bomb disposal squad cordoned off the area and collected evidence from the scene shortly after the blast, police and FC personnel rushed to the site along with rescue workers and shifted the victims to Sandeman Civil Hospital.

“We have received two bodies and 14 injured in the blast,” spokesman for the hospital Dr Wasim Baig said.

One of the deceased was identified as Mohammad Akram, resident of Mazai Adha area of Pishin district, while the other victim remained unidentified till the filing of this report on Tuesday evening.

The hospital official said two FC personnel and three children were among the injured. Both the personnel were later shifted to Combined Military Hospital of Quetta for further treatment, he added.

The injured were identified as Nisar Ahmed, Mohammad Waris, Umar Khan, Raz Gul, Mohammad Asim, Baran Khan, Mohammad Akhtar, Mohammad Hashim, Abdul Khaliq, Zabihullah, Umer Zaman, Abdul Ghaffar and Mohammad Shoaib.

The condition of at least three of the injured was stated to be serious.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2020