Pakistan: Deadly explosion rips through Quetta market | Eurasia Diary -

22 July, Monday

Pakistan: Deadly explosion rips through Quetta market

Police say 30 others have been wounded in a blast that appears to have been aimed at the Hazara community.

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 At least 16 people have been killed and another 30 wounded as an explosion ripped through a market in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, police say, the latest attack to target the city's minority Hazara community. 

The explosion took place as Hazaras, who are Shia Muslims, were buying vegetables early on Friday morning, Quetta police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema told Al Jazeera by telephone.

"Members of the Hazara community go to the market every day to shop, and we provide them with a security escort," he said.

"They were at the market as police and [paramilitary] Frontier Corps soldiers patrolled the area. There was a store selling potatoes, and that is where the explosion has taken place."

Images from the scene of the explosion showed blood sprayed across the dirt floor of the market, damaged vehicles and sacks of potatoes split open by the force of the blast.

Cheema said police would not know whether the bomb was planted or a suicide attack until investigating teams, who had cordoned off the site, completed their analysis.

"The bomb appeared to have been set in the potato sacks, but we cannot rule out whether it was a suicide attack just yet," he said.

At least seven members of the Hazara community and one paramilitary soldier were among those killed, he said.


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