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Three dead‚ dozens injured in Quetta blast

02 January, 2014

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QUETTA: At least three people were killed and scores including women and children were injured in a passenger bus bombing near Akhtarabad By-pass in Quetta on Wednesday evening, media reported.

The blast struck the bus at Akhtarabad bypass on Qamberani Road in the provincial capital of Balochistan.

According to rescue sources, a pilgrims bus carrying 50 passengers caught fire after a powerful blast, leaving dozens of passengers injured on the spot.

DIG Operation‚ Mobeen Ahmed informed state media that the device was reportedly planted on the roadside to target a bus carrying pilgrims from Iran to Quetta. He said vehicle of security squad with the bus was also damaged in the blast.

"About 80-100 kilograms of explosive was used in the bomb and it is surmised that a suicide-car-bomber rammed into the fateful bus and blew it up", a BDS official told media.

The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) declared it a suicide attack and local administration have imposed emergency in all key hospitals of the city.

After blast, some unidentified culprits opened aerial fire at the scene and created harassment in the area while the bus burnt completely to ashes,

CCPO Quetta, Abdul Razzaq Cheema said that the unlucky bus had just entered Quetta after crossing Pakistan-Iran border carrying pilgrims who were coming back home after visiting holy places in Iran. The bus caught fire after the explosion and TV footage showed the ablaze bus burning brightly in the dark.

The rescue services shifted victims to the hospitals while the law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area right after the blast.

Some of the injured were rushed to Bolan Medical Complex (BMC), while others have been moved to Combined Military Hospital (CMH).

The nature of the blast is yet to be ascertained, but police suspect it to be a timer device planted on a car parked on the road.

According to media reports, Information minister of Balochistan, Abdul Raheem while talking to private TV channel confirmed that so far there have been two deaths while the count of the injured is 17.

It is feared that few more casualties could also take place in the tragic incident as many injured are in very serious condition, informed hospital sources.

Political leadership of the country including President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif have strongly condemned the Quetta Bomb blast.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain and ANP chief Asfandyar Wali also condemned the blast.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday condemned an attack on a passenger bus near Qambrani road in Akhtarabad area of Quetta, which resulted into loss of precious human lives while injuring many others.

In a statement, Bilawal said protests were not enough on such terrorist acts and government must take immediate steps to stop this bloodbath.

"We have banned Youtube but how come LeJ official websites are functioning with full vigour?" the PPP leader questioned.

He further said that it was time for the government to act and if it failed to apprehend terrorists "then people will take security in their own hands and this will lead to anarchy".

"Let's not protest, let's act," he added.

Bilawal sympathised with the families of victims who lost their lives and limbs in the blast and prayed to God to rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear this loss with equanimity. He also stressed that special arrangements should be made for timely treatment of all those injured in the blast.

End.

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