An explosion near Quetta's Pishin Stop on Saturday night claimed at least 15 lives and left at least 30 injured, said Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti. The deceased include officials of the security forces and civilians, said the provincial home minister.
An emergency has been declared in the city following the blast which occurred in a high-security zone near an FC hostel. The dead and injured were rushed to Civil Hospital Quetta.
The nature of the explosion could not be immediately ascertained; however, eyewitnesses said the explosion had occurred near a security forces vehicle.
According to a statement issued by the military’s media wing, eight security personnel were martyred 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.
COAS condemns terrorist attack on Army truck in Quetta, an attempt to mar Indep Day festivity. Our resolve won't succumb to any challenge.— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) August 12, 2017
Police and other law enforcement forces rushed to the site of the incident and cordoned off the area.
Dr Wasim Baig, a spokesperson for the hospital, said that 11 bodies and 30 injured individuals were brought to the hospital. He said the hospital was staffed and equipped to deal with the emergency. At least six of the injured are reported to be in critical condition.
The Balochistan home minister, while talking to media, declined to comment on the nature of the blast. "Our first priority is to carry out rescue operations," Bugti said. “It would be unfair to call the incident a security lapse,” Bugti said. The terrorists do not want the people to celebrate the Independence Day, he added.
“We are trying to provide best possible facility to the injured people as soon as possible. Workers are also busy extinguishing the fire at the site,” he said, adding that the holidays of all doctors in the city were suspended.
The Balochistan Assembly, Quetta Law College, a private hospital and many offices are located in the vicinity where the explosion occurred.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
This is a developing story