At least five people, including two cops, were killed and dozens wounded in a powerful blast that targeted a police vehicle in Pakistan’s Quetta city on Tuesday, according to authorities.
The blast took place close to a police vehicle at the Bacha Khan Chowk in the remit of the City Police Station, Quetta’s Deputy Inspector-General of Police Abdul Razzaq Cheema said.
The target of the blast appeared to be the Station House Officer (SHO) of the area but he had escaped with injuries and had been shifted to hospital, the DIG told PTI.
“The bomb went off as soon as SHO Shaffat got down from his vehicle,” he said.
The condition of the SHO is said to be critical.
Cheema further said that it was too early to confirm whether it was a suicide attack or the blast was caused by a remotely triggered device.
Earlier, police officials had said terrorists had planted explosives in a motorcycle and parked it near the police vehicle before it was detonated.
The injured and bodies of the dead were shifted to the Civil Hospital, where officials have confirmed the death toll.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The impact of the blast was so strong that it shattered the glass windows of nearby shopping malls and damaged parked vehicles and motorcycles.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the attack and expressed his sorrow over “the loss of lives.”
Last week, at least two people died and many hurt in a motorcycle-bomb attack on the outskirts of the city.
A year ago, Quetta suffered the worst terrorist incident in Pakistan’s history, an attack on a political rally that left 149 people dead.