QUETTA - A bomb explosion on a busy road killed four people including a Frontier Corps (FC) man and wounded at least 25 others here on Saturday morning, security officials said.

According to police, the blast was intended to target a vehicle of a paramilitary force and occurred near Habib Bank Chowk at Sariab link road of the provincial metropolis. The blast took place when the FC’s patrolling vehicle was passing through the area.

Rescue teams reached the spot and shifted the bodies and injured to the Civil Hospital. The security forces cordoned off the area soon after the blast and started a search operation. Two other vehicles and a rickshaw were damaged in the explosion while the windows of the nearby shops and buildings were also broken.

Police said the militants had planted the bomb in a car parked by the side of the road and detonated it with a remote-controlled device.

“The bomb was detonated by remote control when a vehicle of the Frontier Corps (FC) came close to a busy crossroads,” said Quetta police chief Abdul Razzak Cheema. Cheema said two of the dead and most of the wounded were labourers who were waiting in the area.

According to Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), at least 40 kilogram high quality explosive material was used in the remote-controlled bomb to target FC vehicle.

The blast was so powerful that its sound was heard at distant places.

The injured were rushed to Civil Hospital Quetta for medical treatment. Emergency was imposed in the hospital to treat the injured.

Militants in recent days have intensified attacks against security forces and national installations in Balochistan. A Frontier Corps spokesman, Manzoor Ahmed, confirmed that one soldier had died in the attack while another was wounded.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Miscreants are active in the area and often attack government forces and installations.

The bomb blast in Quetta occurred quite a long time. Sporadic incidents of violence were being reported in the city but it had been a while since any major incident happened in the city.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik strongly condemned the bomb.

The prime Minister and the chief minister prayed for peace of the departed souls and early recovery of the injured.

They also prayed for courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with equanimity and fortitude.

Meanwhile, Levies Force recovered an abducted person after an encounter in Bolan town area of Balochistan on Saturday.

According to Levies Force, acting on a tip-off, Levies Force personnel conducted a raid at a place and recovered the kidnapped Ghulam Sarwar after exchange of fire with the kidnappers.

Ghulam Sarwar was abducted from Bala Nari area at gunpoint by unknown men. Levies Force registered a case and started efforts to arrest outlaws.

TERRORISTS TO BE PURSUED TILL THEIR ELIMINATION: MALIK

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has said that terrorists involved in the killing of innocent people would be chased and eliminated.

Strongly condemning the blast at Sariab link road in Quetta on Saturday, the chief minister expressed his condolences and sympathies with the families of those killed and injured in the blast. He said the government would continue its campaign against the terrorists till restoration of complete peace in the province.

He directed the authorities to extend best possible treatment to the injured.