Wednesday Oct 18 2017

Death toll from Quetta car bomb blast rises to eight

QUETTA: The death toll from Quetta car bomb blast has risen to eight after another police officer succumbed to his wounds late Wednesday, according to rescue sources.

The attackers rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a truck carrying Elite Force personnel in New Sariab area of the city around 8:30am while it was transporting them for duties, according to police.

The incident resulted in martyrdom of seven people, including five policemen. Over 20 others were wounded in the bombing, according to hospital authorities.

However, another injured of the blast succumbed to his wounds late Wednesday taking the death toll to eight.

Earlier, hospital authorities confirmed that seven bodies, including five of policemen, and 24 injured, most of them policemen, have been brought to the Civil Hospital and CMH. Five of the injured were said to be in critical condition.

Sources said the truck was carrying around 30 policemen to duty. 

The area where the attack occurred is unpopulated and situated on the outskirts of the city. Sources said several passersby shifted the injured to the hospital as well owing to its distance from the city centre. 

Quetta DIG Razzaq Cheema told Geo News there were general threats regarding an incident of terrorism in the city. 

Security forces, including the Frontier Corps, and emergency teams reached the site following the incident. The rescue operation was completed while forensic and bomb disposal teams were conducting their investigation at the moment.  

Attack will not deter us: home minister 

Speaking to the media, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said the attack seems vehicle-borne, but added that investigations are being conducted to determine the exact nature of the blast. 

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti addressing the media at the site of the attack. Photo: Geo News

Bugti said an emergency has been declared in all the hospitals of the city. 

"The people and government of Balochistan will not be deterred from the fight against terrorism," he said, adding the fight will continue till the last terrorist remains. 

The minister said the facilitator of this attack, like others before, will be traced and brought to book. 

Bugti said a diversion has been created to accommodate traffic on the by-pass as the site of today's incident will remain closed until tomorrow since a forensic team from Lahore is en route to help in the investigation. 

Answering a question, he said fighting an enemy who has already decided to die is not easy but they [security forces] are still fighting them. 

Frequent target 

Last week, a policeman was martyred and three others, including two policemen and a child, were injured when a police vehicle was targetted in Quetta.

In August this year, a massive suicide explosion, targeting Pakistan Army personnel in Quetta, left 15 people dead – including seven civilians – and injured at least 20 people.

The blast, which reportedly took place in a vehicle, occurred at the Pishin bus stop, causing cars in the surroundings to catch fire soon after.

In June this year, fourteen people, including seven policemen, were killed and 21 injured in a suicide car bombing near the office of the inspector general of police Balochistan on Gulistan Road.