QUETTA - A bomb explosion killed five people and left 18 others with serious wounds in a crowded car repair market on Double Road here on Wednesday.
The powerful bomb, fixed to a bicycle, destroyed at least two shops, a garage, six vehicles, a rickshaw and a motorbike.
The bomb disposal squad said eight to 10 kilograms of explosive material was used in the explosion which broke the windowpanes of shops and plazas.
Talking to media men, Balochistan Home Secretary Asad Gilani said three people were killed and 20 wounded in a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) fixed on a bicycle.
He linked the blast to the recent bombing that took place in front of the city police station, Quetta, which left eight dead and more than 30 injured while United Baloch Liberation Army (UBLA) claimed responsibility for it.
The blast followed another explosion of a CNG cylinder of a rickshaw and a car that spread panic among the people. Six to seven vehicles caught fire and were completely destroyed. Rescue workers, fire fighters, security forces and police in a large number reached the spot and cordoned off the area.
The Rescue workers faced difficulties in shifting the injured to hospital due to the traffic jam which is a routine matter on Zarghoon Road as Sariab railway level crossing road has been blocked due to the construction of an overhead bridge.
The dead and injured were taken to provincial Sandeman Hospital, known as Civil Hospital, where state of emergency has been declared to cope with the situation.
The doctors, who have been on strike for more than one month against the kidnapping of their colleague, reached the hospital and started treating the injured. “Three dead bodies and 19 injured were brought to hospital,” sources said.
Later, two of the injured succumbed to their injuries while six were shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) because of their critical wounds. The deceased were daily wagers.
Home Minister Sarfarz Bugti said separatist groups could be responsible for this attack because a similar cycle bombing had killed eight people outside the city police station. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.
“Apparently, the bomb was planted in a bicycle parked in the market,” Azhar Shah, a senior police official, told AFP.
A hospital official confirmed the deaths. “We have received five dead bodies and 17 injured people from the blast site,” Rasheed Jamali, a doctor at Quetta’s Civil Hospital, told AFP.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.