SIBI / QUETTA: A woman and five children among 16 people were killed when the United Baloch Army (UBA) detonated a bomb on the Quetta-Rawalpindi passenger train Jaffar Express at Sibi railway station on Tuesday.
The deadly bombing left 44 people injured, five of whom with critical wounds. They were transported to Quetta.
“The blast took place inside bogie number 9 of passenger Train Jaffar Express, which was on its way to Rawalpindi from Quetta,” Qazi Hussain, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) police Sibi told Express Tribune. Railway employees and police officials detached the bogie from other bogies in order to keep the fire from spreading.
Police investigators said around 20 kilograms of explosive materials were used in the blast. “It seems the explosive materials were planted inside the passenger train at Sibi railway station,” a railway official said.
The bogie caught fire and 16 people inside the bogie were burnt to death while more than 40 others sustained injuries.
The United Baloch Army claimed responsibility for the attack, BBC Urdu reported.
Charred beyond recognition, the bodies of the deceased were transported to Quetta so that their identities could be determined by DNA testing.
Rescue workers, fire fighters, police and security forces rushed to the station and transported the injured and deceased to Civil Hospital Sibi. Fire fighters managed to bring the fire under control after 40 minutes of struggle.
Some of the injured were shifted to Combined Military Hospital Sibi, while five injured with critical wounds were transported to Quetta by army helicopters.
Jaffar Express later left for its destination Rawalpindi after the conclusion of rescue operation in the blast site.
“We received 12 dead bodies and 41 injured and most of them are in critical condition. Women and children are among the injured,” said Ghulam Sarwar, Medical Superintendent (MS) of Civil Hospital Sibi told The Express Tribune.
President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the killings in the blast which occurred ten minutes after the train stopped at the railway station.
Railway Minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq said that the attack could be in retaliation of yesterday’s search operation by security forces in Balochistan in which 30 suspected militants were killed.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has strongly condemned the incident and sought a report on the incident. “An investigation comprising officials of Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps (FC) and police has been formed,” an Balochistan government official said.