Security personnel among 15 martyred in Quetta blast

The writer is a syndicated columnist and a former member of India’s Rajya Sabha

A bomb exploded near a crowded market in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Saturday (Aug 12), killing at least 15 people, officials said, the latest attack to hit the restive southwestern province of Baluchistan.

The blast came two days before Pakistan's 70th Independence Day, and the military chief said it was an effort to mar celebrations.

"Our resolve won't succumb to any challenge", Bajwa was quoted as saying.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed that an Army truck was targeted in Quetta.

"We can now confirm that 15 people have died in the explosion today".

It added that incendiary explosives were used in the blast that sparked fires in nearby vehicles.

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Army troops reached the site of the incident soon after the attack and cordoned off the area. Injured are being shifted to CMH, added ISPR.

Interior Minister Balochistan Sarfraz Bugti told ARY News that it was a huge blast but he can not say anything about the nature of blast. The area is also considered to be comparatively well secured, due to the presence of Balochistan assembly, Chief Minister House, Governor House and Balochistan High Court in the vicinity.

The blast occurred near a hospital at Pishin bus stop meters away from Frontier Corps Headquarters. Two cars, rickshaws and motorcycles caught fire after the blast.

Bugti said around 30 injured persons were shifted to the Civil hospital for treatment and admitted that the condition of six to seven people was critical.

A fire broke out in the parked vehicles following the blast. Rescue services and security forces have reached the site and are conducting rescue activities.

Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan province, has seen frequent attacks targeting government buildings and security forces, as well as civilians.

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