Pakistan: Dozens Dead in Bomb Attack on Quetta Market


At least 47 people have been killed and many others wounded in a bomb attack on a crowded market in the Pakistani city of Quetta, police say.

Senior local police officer Wazir Khan Nasir told the AFP news agency that at least 200 people had been injured and the death toll could rise.

The bomb was detonated by remote-control in a Shia-dominated area of Quetta, he said.

He called it a sectarian attack: "The Shia community was the target."

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan and has been plagued by a separatist rebellion as well as sectarian violence.

Last month, at least 92 people were killed in a bomb attack and 121 were wounded when suicide bombers blew themselves up at a crowded snooker club in a Shia-dominated area of Quetta.

The banned Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi said it carried out the attacks on 10 January, one of the deadliest days of bombings in Pakistan in recent years.

Such was the Shia community's anger at the lack of protection for them in Quetta they refused to bury the dead until they received assurances of security from the authorities.

Following talks with Shia representatives from Quetta, Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf sacked Balochistan's chief minister.

Story source: BBC