Pakistan, Quetta Blast Updates – At least 63 people were killed and almost 200 wounded Saturday when a large explosion shook Quetta, the capital of restive Balochistan province, police officials said.
The explosion occurred near a market at the busy Kirani road area of the city, located close to Hazara Town, where a large population of the ethnic Hazaras community resides.
“At least 63 people have been killed by the blast. The dead include women and children,” Mir Zubair Mehmood, police chief of Quetta city, told reporters. “The explosion completely destroyed a two-storey building.”
Earlier Wazir Khan Nasir, a senior police officer, had said that over 200 people had been injured in the attack.
“It was a sectarian attack, the Shia community was the target,” said Wazir Khan Nasir.
A spokesman for the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for Saturday’s bloodshed, news agency Reuters reported.
“We fear more casualties. We have announced an emergency in hospitals,” said provincial home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani.
Durrani said the bomb was planted near the pillar of a building in the market.
Officials and witnesses said an angry mob surrounded the area after the blast and were not allowing policemen, rescue workers and reporters to reach the site.