QUETTA, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — An explosive device planted in a vehicle detonated near a university bus in southwestern Pakistan on Monday, killing five people and injuring nearly 70 others, police and rescue workers said. It comes just over a week after another attack targeting the same university.
The powerful explosion took place on Smuggli road on the outskirts of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan province which borders Afghanistan and Iran, when a remote-controlled explosive device detonated just as the bus passed. The bus belonged to the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS).
“The bus was obviously the target and we think the perpetrators were waiting for the university bus as it was clearly marked with BUITEMS on the front,” a local police officer said. Photos from the scene showed the vehicle was heavily damaged by the force of the explosion, which reportedly involved around 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of explosives.
Officials said five people were killed in the blast, including three students from the IT University, while 68 others were injured. Many of the injured victims were BUITEMS students who were on board the vehicle, but dozens of passers-by were also among those injured. Some of them were seriously injured.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which left a 3-foot (0.9-meters) crater in the road.
Earlier this month, at least fifteen people were killed and 48 others were injured when a powerful bomb exploded outside a Sunni Muslim seminary near the Balochistan University in Quetta. It occurred near the Jamia Islamia Maftah-ul-Uloom seminary, where students had gathered for a graduation ceremony.