At least seven policemen were killed and 22 people injured in an explosion in the Sariab Mill area of Quetta on Wednesday.
According to initial reports, a roadside bomb exploded just as a vehicle carrying 35 police personnel was passing through the Quetta-Sibbi Road, DawnNews reported. The nature of the blast has yet to be ascertained.
Civil Hospital Quetta spokesperson Wasim Baig confirmed seven casualties and said that eight injured had been brought to the facility, where an emergency has been imposed.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, while condemning the attack, confirmed that six policemen had lost their lives while 22 others were injured and being treated at the Civil Hospital and the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Quetta.
Briefing the media about the incident, the home minister said the contingent that was affected by the explosion was recently assigned the responsibility of routinely patrolling various sensitive areas and were on their way to work when the blast occurred.
Bugti said a forensic team from Lahore would arrive in Quetta tomorrow to help determine the nature of the blast.
“The war against terrorism is not over. Balochistan is on the forefront of this fight and we will not stop until every single terrorist has left the area,” the home minister said.
He added: “These cowardly attacks will not hinder our security forces in executing their duties.”
In a separate incident, Police Inspector Abdul Salam was shot dead on Quetta’s Qambrani road, in what security sources claim was a target killing.
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 ─ including seven policemen ─ lost their livesin a suicide blast that shook Shuhada Chowk in Quetta’s Gulistan Road area.