At least 13 dead in SW Pakistan explosion

Photo: AFP

An explosion targeting a police vehicle in Pakistan's southwestern Quetta city on Friday killed at least 13 people and injured around 20 others, officials said.

The explosion occurred in front of the office of the police chief in Quetta, which is capital of mineral-rich southern Balochistan, a province that is rife with separatist and Islamist insurgency.

"Eleven people have died... and at least 20 others are injured," Fareed Ahmed, medical superintendent at Civil Hospital told AFP, saying the death toll had increased from five earlier in the morning.

Four policemen were among the dead, while three others remain in critical condition, he said.

Police surgeon Dr Ali Mardan confirmed the toll.

Police said that their vehicle was targeted in the attack, but that the nature of the explosion was not yet known.

"The blast targeted a police pick-up in front of the IG (Inspector General) office. A motorcycle was also destroyed in the explosion," Mohammed Tariq, a senior police official said.

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