Quetta [ Pakistan] : At least 15 people lost their lives and 25 others were injured in a powerful blast targeting a military vehicle in a high-security zone near Quetta’s Pishin Stop on Saturday night.
“We can now confirm that 15 people have died in the explosion today. At least 32 others are wounded,” Dawn quoted Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti as saying. He added that a rescue operation was still underway.
An emergency has been declared in the city following the blast that occurred in a high-security zone near a Frontier Corps hostel.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of the army, confirmed a vehicle of security forces was targeted in the blast that killed 15 people, including seven citizens.
The ISPR revealed that an on-duty security vehicle was targeted in the blast, adding that 10 security officials were also among those injured in the attack.
“Incendiary explosive was used in the blast due to which nearby vehicles caught fire,” ISPR reported.
“An attempt to mar Independence Day festivity. Our resolve won’t succumb to any challenge,” DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor posted on Twitter.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that it was a huge explosion that targeted a vehicle of security forces but would be premature to comment on the nature of the explosion.
The deceased include officials of the security forces and civilians, said the provincial home minister. The dead and injured were rushed to Quetta Civil Hospital.
A spokesman for the Balochistan government, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, also confirmed the death toll.
The nature of the explosion could not be immediately ascertained; however, eyewitnesses said that the explosion had occurred near a security forces vehicle.