QUETTA: As many as fifteen people, among them twelve police and a paramilitary official, were killed and over a dozen others injured in a blast targeting police outside a polio vaccination centre in Quetta on Wednesday.
According to police and rescue officials, the explosion took place close to a government-run polio centre in Quetta’s Satellite Town.
Balochistan Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said 12 policemen, an official of Balochistan Constabulary and two civilians were martyred in the blast.
He said the blast left at least 12 others injured, nine of whom were police and one a civilian. They were shifted to civil hospital by rescue team, as security forces cordoned off the scene.
The officers had been gathering outside the centre to accompany polio workers for the third day of a vaccination campaign in Balochistan.
About nature of the blast, the minister said investigations were underway and possibility of a suicide attack could not be ruled out.
However, police termed the blast a suicide attack.
“It was a suicide blast, we have gathered evidence from the scene,” Ahsan Mehboob, IG Balochistan police said.
The Balochistan government meanwhile announced Rs.1 million compensation for family of each deceased and Rs.500,000 for each injured.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the blast and expressed grief and sorrow over loss of lives.
Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan condemned the attack and ordered inquiry. NNI