At least five people were killed and more than 50 others – including 12 policemen – were seriously injured in a suicide attack outside the Balochistan police chief’s residence in the high security zone of Quetta Sunday night.
Security sources said a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vehicle outside the residence of IG Mushtaq Shukhera, located on Zarghoon Road. Shukhera had just reached his home when the blast occurred, sources added. Heavy firing and small blasts were also heard in the city following the suicide attack.
CCPO Quetta Mir Zubair Mehmood told journalists that at least four people, among them a child, were killed and 40 others, including 12 policemen, were injured. The death toll rose to five later, as did the number of injured.
Medics feared that the death toll could rise as some of the injured were in critical condition.
“Mustaq Shukera had just entered his residence when the bomber hit the main gate of the house,” the CCPO said. “Law enforcers were also among the dead while a large of injured were civilians,” he said, adding that investigations were under way.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sources said a protest rally of Balochistan National Party was also passing through the area when the blast took place that whipped up panic among the participants.
Windows of the Governor House, Chief Minister House, Quetta Press Club, P&T Colony and hundreds of shopping centres and shops on Jinnah Road were shattered by the impact of the blast.
Sources in the Bomb Disposal Squad said more than 200 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast. Following the incident, electricity supply to the area was disrupted due to damages to power pylons.
Earlier in the day, as many as six rockets were also fired in different parts of Quetta city from unknown locations.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2013.
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