Blast kills at least eight in SW Pakistan: official

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A powerful blast on Saturday night killed at least eight people. Picture: Reuters

A powerful blast on Saturday night killed at least eight people and wounded 17 others in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, an official said.

The blast occurred at a bus stop in the provincial capital Quetta and the area caught fire soon after the explosion.

“We have so far received eight dead bodies and 17 injured,” Doctor Fareed Sumalani, medical superintendent of the local government hospital, told AFP.

Balochistan home minister Sarfraz Bugti told local Dunya TV that a rescue operation was underway.

“We are trying to transfer injured people to hospitals as soon as possible. Workers are also busy extinguishing the fire at the site,” he said, adding that the holidays of all doctors in the city were suspended.

The nature of the blast could not immediately be determined but an investigation was underway, Bugti said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Taliban and Islamic State militants have attacked Quetta city in the past.

Balochistan has oil and gas resources but is afflicted by Islamist militancy, sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and a separatist insurgency.

-AFP

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