19 killed in Pak bomb attack


Islamabad/Karachi, Dec 30: At least 19 persons were killed and 25 others injured today in a car bomb attack that targeted a bus taking Shia pilgrims to Iran in Pakistan's restive southwest.
Explosives planted in a car parked by the roadside were detonated by remote control when the bus was passing through Mastung district of Baluchistan province, Deputy Commissioner Tufail Baloch told reporters.
"Nineteen people were killed and 25 more injured," he said.
Other officials said the wounded, many of them with burn injuries, were taken to two hospitals in the provincial capital of Quetta.
Officials of the bomb disposal squad said an estimated 80 kg of explosives were used in the attack.
No group claimed responsibility for the incident though the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has been blamed for earlier attacks.
The vehicle that was targeted was part of a convoy of three buses carrying pilgrims from Lahore, Jhang and Multan in Punjab province, to neighbouring Iran.
The buses were headed for the Taftan border crossing.
Baloch said the buses had been provided an escort in view of earlier attacks on Shia pilgrims. The route taken by the buses is usually cleared in advance but the attack occurred near a market where several vehicles were parked by the roadside, he said.
The explosion triggered a fire in the bus.Witnesses said several persons were burnt alive.
Footage on television showed that the bus was reduced to smouldering metal.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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