At least seven people, including six policemen, were killed and 24 others injured in an explosion targeting a truck carrying police officials in the Sariab Mill area of Quetta on Wednesday (October 18).
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Abdul Razzaq Cheema said an investigation is underway to determine whether the blast was a suicide bombing or whether an explosives-laden vehicle was detonated remotely when the police truck was passing by, adding that the death toll could increase.
The 35-strong contingent of elite policemen had been recently assigned patrol of various sensitive areas and were on their way to work on the Quetta-Sibi road when the explosion took place, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti told Dawn News.
Bugti told AFP that a car rammed the police vehicle before catching fire, adding it was “apparently a suicide attack”, in an account confirmed by.
DIG Cheema confirmed the death toll, saying that 24 people were wounded, several critically.
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, but the claim has not been independently verified.
Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, while speaking to reporters, said the bomb contained 80 kilograms of explosive material.
Balochistan has experienced incidents of violence and targeted killings for over a decade. In recent months, the province has faced a number of security challenges, with security personnel in the province often being targeted in roadside explosions and suicide attacks.
Fifteen people, including eight soldiers, were martyred when a suicide bomber targeted a military truck near the Pishin bus stop in Quetta on August 13.
Earlier in June, 14 people â”€ including seven policemen â”€ lost their lives in a suicide blast that shook Shuhada Chowk in Quetta’s Gulistan Road area.