KARACHI: A suicide bomber blew up his explosive-laden car near the office of the regional police chief in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Friday, killing at least 13 people, including six policemen, and injuring 20 others.
The powerful blast took place near Inspector General of Police Ehsan Mehboob’s office on Gulistan Road area of the provincial capital, Quetta.
Thirteen people, including six policemen, died in the suicide car bombing, officials said.
The bodies were shifted to the Civil Hospital after the attack, according to hospital officials. Of the injured, nine are said to be policemen. Balochistan government spokesperson Anwarul Haq Kakar told Geo News that the suspected bomber in the car tried to break a security perimetre to target the police offices but blew up after policemen standing guard attempted to stop him. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Kakar blamed India for the blast. Balochistan has also been facing insurgency by Baloch nationalists and Islamist militants.
Security officials also confirmed that the blast was the result of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device which exploded after the “suspicious” driver was spotted by policemen.
DIG Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema, addressing the media, said they are examining CCTV footage to determine the details of the incident. Security forces cordoned off the site of the blast and began investigating after rescue services shifted the injured and deceased to the hospital.
Officials said body parts of the suspected bomber, strewn across the site of the blast, were being collected along with other evidence for forensic examination.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack, saying that terrorists involved in the attack will be taken to task and all out efforts will be taken to eliminate terrorism. President Mamnoon Hussain, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai and former president Asif Ali Zardari, among others, also condemned the attack.