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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Quetta: Two dead, 31 injured in pilgrim bus bombing

January 01, 2014 -

QUETTA: At least two people were killed and scores more, including women and children, were injured in a passenger bus bombing here on Wednesday evening, Geo News reported.

"So far, there have been two deaths, while the count of the injured has risen to 31", Information minister of Balochistan, Abdul Raheem, confirmed.

As per initial reports the target of this sectarian terrorist act was a bus full of pilgrims coming from Iran. The blast struck the bus at Akhtarabad bypass on Qamberani Road in the provincial capital of Balochistan.

CCPO Quetta, Abdul Razzaq Cheema, said the bus had just entered Quetta after crossing Pakistan-Iran border carrying about 30 to 35 pilgrims who were coming back home after visiting holy places in Iran.

According to sources gunshots were also fired after the bomb went off.

The bus caught fire after the explosion. The TV footage aired by Geo News showed the ablaze bus burning brightly in the dark while sporadic firing was still in progress.

The fire brigade was still struggling to extinguish the fire, the sources added.

The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) declared it a suicide attack.

"About 80-100 kilograms of explosive was used in the bomb. It is surmised that a suicide-car-bomber rammed into the fateful bus and blew it up", a BDS official said.

The emergency responders are busy moving victims to the hospitals while the law enforcement agencies trying to clear the area.

Heavy contingents of FC and police officials reached and cordoned off the blast site.

Some of the injured were rushed to Bolan Medical Complex (BMC), while others have been moved to Combined Military Hospital (CMH). The sources, however, added that no women or children were among the injured ambulanced to the hospitals so far.

A police vehicle, which was escorting the pilgrims bus was also damaged in the blast. "Some policemen also sustained injuries in the attack", the Station House House Officer (SHO) of the respective area told Geo News.

Authorities fear more deaths keeping in view the intensity of the blast.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain have strongly condemned terrorist attack.

In his condolence message the PM said the perpetrators of such heinous crimes were doing no service to Islam and the country.

"My sympathies are with the families of the victims. I pray for the departed souls and for early recovery of those injured in the tragic incident".

He reiterated the government s resolve to eliminate terrorism from the country to establish durable peace.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali also decried the attack in the strongest of words.

Meanwhile, Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), in its condemnatory reaction to the terrorist attack, picked apart the government for failing to provide protection to the citizens of Pakistan.

An MWM spokesperson also announced observance of three days of mourning across Pakistan.

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