15 killed in Pakistan’s Quetta city blast

Islamabad, December 31: At least 15 people were killed and over 20 wounded after a blast hit Pakistan’s Quetta city Friday, said police sources and media reports.

The toll in the blast has risen to 15, Xinhua reported Dawn News citing sources early Saturday.

Earlier, district inspector general Nazir Kurd of Quetta, capital city of Balochistan province, said 10 people were killed and about 30 injured in the blast which, as per initial information, looked as if it was a car bomb blast.

Later, Balochistan Liberation Army, a local separatist group, however, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a suicide bomb attack instead of a car bomb attack.

The attack took place at about 7:00 p.m. Friday outside the house of the son of former federal minister Naseer Mengal who had served as oil minister during the tenure of former president Pervez Musharraf.

Mengal has also been Balochistan’s chief minister.

An estimated 40 to 50 kg of explosives were used in the blast, said police, adding that bomb disposal squad also defused another two bombs planted near the house.

Shafiq Mengal, the leader’s son, however, escaped the attack.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has ordered an inquiry into the attack.