Nearly 30 killed in separate blasts in Pakistan
Soldiers and police officials at the site of the blast in Pakistani city Quetta on June 23. Photograph: (Reuters)
Nearly 30 people were killed in separate bomb blasts in Pakistan on Friday. A suicide car bomber killed at least 13 in Balochistan capital Quetta, and at least 15 people died in two blasts which took place in the evening in northwest town of Parachinar, officials said.
The first attack in Quetta occurred when police stopped a car for searching it at a checkpoint. Seven police officers were killed, Reuters reported.
An official from Balochistan's bomb disposal unit said the car contained up to 95 kg of explosives.
A government official said the explosion occurred near the IG office which was possibly the target of the terrorists.
"It's possible the IG office was the target, or the assailants were trying to enter the cantonment which is close by," provincial government spokesman Anwar ul Haq Kakar said.
At least 13 bodies were taken to hospital, along with 19 wounded people, said Wasim Baig, a spokesman for the Civil Hospital in Quetta. Nine security officials were among the wounded, said Fareed Sumalan, a doctor at the
The bomber had detonated a car packed with explosives, director general of police in Balochistan province, Abdul Razzaq Cheema, told Reuters.
Jamaat ur Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in a message sent to Reuters by its spokesman Asad Mansur.
"Our attacks will continue until a true sharia system (Islamic law) is enforced in Pakistan," the spokesman said.
Quetta is about 100 km east of the border with Afghanistan.
In the evening, two blasts went off in the town of Parachinar - also near the border with Afghanistan - killing at least 15 people, a government official told Reuters.
The blasts were in a market and went off within three minutes of each other, senior government official Wazir Khan said.
Many people were at the market buying food for iftar, the evening meal with which Muslims break their daily fast during the month of Ramzan which ends this weekend.
No group claimed responsibility for the Parachinar blasts.
Resource-rich Balochistan has for years been plagued by violence instigated by separatist rebels battling government forces. The Taliban and other militant Islamist groups also operate there.
Balochistan is also the centre of the Chinese-backed "Belt and Road" infrastructure and energy projects, worth $57 billion in Pakistan.
Last month, militants loyal to the Islamic State killed two Chinese nationals in Quetta, prompting Pakistan to boost security for Chinese nationals and other foreigners in the province.