At least nine people, including four security personnel and an eight-year-old girl, were killed and about 40 others injured on Saturday in a Taliban suicide attack that targeted a Frontier Corps vehicle in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.
A powerful blast rocked the congested Kachari area of Quetta near the premises of the heavily guarded city district courts.
At least nine people were killed and about 40 others injured when the Frontier Corps (FC) vehicle was targeted, officials said.
DIG Imtiaz Shah was quoted by Dawn News as saying that it was a suicide attack and the attacker blew himself up near a vehicle belonging to the FC.
Anwar-ul-Haq, a spokesperson for the Balochistan government, said the injured were shifted to hospitals and among them the condition of eight was critical.
The Kachari area that houses the district and sessions courts, a market and a hospital, is usually packed with people and Haq said it was congested as usual when the blast took place near Liaquat park.
“Those killed included an eight-year-old girl, FC personnel and women,” he said.
Haq said around eight kilogrammes of explosives was used in the attack and the blast shattered and damaged nearby buildings and the security vehicle.
“Four members of the FC have been killed in the blast, while the remaining five are locals,” Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told The Express Tribune.
The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack, media reports said.
Television footage showed several wounded FC personnel being shifted from the blast site to hospitals.
“We didn’t have any advance threat but in the last few months, the operation against militants and insurgents has been stepped up and this is a retaliation,” IG police Balochistan Mahboob Ahsan said.
The troubled Balochistan province has been hit by violence for the last few years with sectarian, militant groups routinely targeting government and security installations along with security personnel.