Policemen among seven killed, 21 injured in Quetta Blast

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QUETTA, FEB 17  (DNA) :  At least seven people including policemen were killed and 21 others sustained wounds in a bomb explosion at the city s Shahra-e-Iqbal Road near press club on Monday.

As per the initial reports, the blast took place at the city s Shahra-e-Iqbal Road.

Soon after the explosion, police and rescue staff reached the spot and started shifting bodies and injured people to local hospital for medico-legal formalities.

The nature of the blast was not immediately clear. Security officials have also cordoned off the site of the blast.

In January, at least 15 people including Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ammanullah and the Imam of the mosque had been killed and 19 others sustained injuries in a powerful explosion at a mosque in the provincial capital’s Satellite Town. The bomb explosion took place when the people were offering Maghrib prayers.

Fida Mohammad, who was attending evening prayers, said about 60 people were present at the time of the attack on the mosque, which is located in a densely populated area.

The explosion ripped through the front row of worshippers seconds after the prayer began, he said. “It was a powerful blast, people were screaming and running here and there — many people were injured because of the stampede,” Mohammad said.

Talking to media, Provincial home minister Zia Ullah Langu said that investigations by bomb disposal officers indicated that a suicide bomber carried out the attack.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan province, the country s largest but most sparsely populated province, rich in mineral resources and the route of much of the $60bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

CPEC projects focus on transport, infrastructure and electrical power generation, culminating in a trade route that will connect southwestern China with the Arabian Sea through the length of Pakistan. The route ends in a major commercial seaport in the Balochistan town of Gwadar.

In November, at least two security personnel were killed and five others wounded in a similar attack targeting a vehicl.