Pak: Blast in Quetta hits army vehicle; at least 17 dead, 20 hurt
At least 17 people were killed and nearly 30 others injured on Saturday when a powerful blast targeting a vehicle of the security forces went off in Pakistan’s Quetta city.
Balochistan’s home minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti told media that a truck of the Frontier Corps was targeted in the blast.
The high intensity blast occurred in a parking lot near Pishin bus stop which is in a high security area.
The Islamic State Khorasan Province -- the Middle Eastern group's affiliate in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- released a statement claiming the attack, according to the US-based monitoring group SITE.
A suicide motorbike bomber was behind the blast, the statement said. The local affiliate has been known to work with Pakistani militant groups in previous attacks.
The blast was so loud that it was heard in far off areas and caused a huge fire in which some vehicles and auto rickshaws were also damaged.
Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has oil and gas resources but is afflicted by Islamist militancy, sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and a separatist insurgency.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Chief of the Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa and deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif all condemned the attack. The blast came two days before Pakistan's 70th Independence Day, and the military chief said it was an effort to mar celebrations.