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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pakistan blasts: 'Dozens killed' at Quetta snooker hall

10 January 2013 Last updated at 13:09 ET



Twin blasts at a snooker hall in the south-western Pakistani city of Quetta have killed at least 50 people and injured dozens more, police say.

Many of the casualties were caused by the second blast as police and media rushed to the scene,

Earlier, a bomb in a market area killed 11 people and injured 27 more, police said.

A spokesman for a militant group, the United Baloch Army, said it had carried out that attack.

Balochistan is plagued by a separatist rebellion and sectarian infighting between Sunnis and Shias.

The Taliban and armed groups that support them also carry out attacks in the province, particularly in areas near the Afghan border. Pakistan's military has been engaged in a long-running battle against those militant groups.'Cameraman killed'

A senior police officer, Hamid Shakil, told Agence France-Presse news agency that the first bomb at the snooker exploded outside the building and that the second blast occurred 10 minutes later as rescue workers, police and media arrived.


The first blast devastated a market area

The dead reportedly included a cameraman from a television channel.

Home Secretary Akbar Durrani told AFP the bombs were in an area dominated by the minority Shia Muslim community.

TV footage of the earlier market attack showed survivors picking through debris, and emergency crews taking away the wounded.

"Frontier Corps [paramilitary] personnel were the target because the bomb was planted underneath their vehicle," senior police investigator Hamid Shakeel told AFP news agency.

The dead include one paramilitary soldier and two civilian officers.

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