Islamabad, Aug 13 (IANS) At least 15 people were killed and 32 others injured when a blast hit an army truck in Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province on Saturday night.
“We can now confirm that 15 people have died in the explosion today. At least 32 others are wounded,” Dawn.com quoted Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti as saying.
The army truck was passing by Quetta’s Pishin Stop area of the city when it was targeted by the explosion. Nature of the blast has not been determined yet.
The deceased include members of the armed forces and civilians, said the provincial home minister. The dead and injured were rushed to Civil Hospital Quetta.
According to a statement issued by the military’s media wing, eight security personnel were killed in the blast.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that an on-duty security vehicle was targeted in the blast, adding that 10 security officials were also among those injured in the attack.
“Incendiary explosive was used in the blast due to which nearby vehicles caught fire,” ISPR reported.
An emergency has been declared in the city following the incident.
Two cars, four rickshaws and two motorbikes caught fire in the explosion, Xinhua reported.
The injured people have been shifted to a nearby hospital where a state of emergency has been declared. No group has claimed the attack yet.
Security forces have cordoned off the blast site for investigations.
At least 14 people — including seven policemen — lost their lives, while 19 others were injured in a suicide blast that shook Shuhada Chowk in Quetta’s Gulistan Road area in June.
Earlier in June, three security officials were injured after an improvised explosive device (IED) seemingly targeted their vehicle in the Johan area of Kalat.
Days later, two navy sailors were killed and at least three others were wounded when their vehicle was attacked in the Jiwani area of Gwadar district.
In May, at least 10 labourers were killed in Balochistan’s Gwadar district when unidentified assailants opened fire at the construction site where they were working.