QUETTA: At least 13 people were killed and over 23 sustained injures in an explosion at a local hotel on national highway in Dera Allahyar, some 400 kilometres south-east of Quetta, on Sunday.
The police and security personnel also defused another bomb attached to gas pipeline a few kilometres from the blast site.
The newly emerged Baloch Liberation Tiger has claimed the responsibility for the bomb blast and its spokesman, who introduced himself as Miran Baloch, said that it was a remote controlled blast and his organization carried out the attack.
Talking to a local news agency, Baloch said his organization will target those who will participate in the celebrations of Independence Day of Pakistan.
The blast took place inside the hotel when people were taking midday meal. The roof of the hotel collapsed and many were trapped for several hours.
“It was a homemade bomb which went off with a big bang turning the hotel into debris. The people were taking their midday meal when blast occurred,” Baloch added.
District Police Officer Jaffarabad Javed Gharshen said that unknown miscreants have planted explosive materials inside the Bismillah hotel.
Bismillah hotel is one of the three hotels on National Highway in Dera Allahyar open in the holy month of Ramzan to provide food to passengers.
The explosion rocked the district headquarters.
The personnel of Frontier Corps and police rushed to the spot and started rescue operation. They sealed off the area and recovered 13 bodies from the hotel. “At least 13 people were killed while over 22 sustained serious injuries,” Gharsheen added.
The deceased and injured were taken to nearby civil hospital where most of the injured were referred to Larkana and Jacobabad for further treatment. “Thirteen injured are in critical condition,” sources at hospital said.
The police officer said that it was a homemade bomb but was not sure about how much explosive material was used since there was no bomb disposal squad present at the blast site.
“Teams have been called from Sukkar and Quetta to make assessment of the blast,” DPO said
Police said the death toll could rise as several people were believed to be trapped in the rubble. The rescue workers and police were removing the rubble to find any survivors.
The blast also caused damages to nearby shops and buildings.
Meanwhile, DPO Gharshen said that they have seized 10kg explosive material near gas field on National Highway which connects Dera Allahyar to Usta Mohamamd.
“We had information from intelligence about the plot to blow up gas pipelines and managed to foil the attempt by acting on time,” he added.