QUETTA, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Fourteen people were killed on Thursday when a suicide car bomber struck a bus carrying pilgrims in southwestern Pakistan, police said on Friday. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The bus which was targeted was carrying around 50 people at the time of the attack and had earlier left Taftan, a town in the southwestern area of Balochistan which is the only legal border crossing area with neighboring Iran. The vehicle was heading towards the provincial capital of Quetta.
Officials said the bus, which was being escorted by two police vehicles, was struck by a car in the Hazar Ganji area near a local fruit market. The powerful explosion almost completely destroyed the bus, as well as the two police vans which were nearby but were unable to stop the attack.
Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai told the Pakistan Daily Times that fourteen people were confirmed dead, including two police officers and a woman, while 30 others were injured and rushed to area hospitals. A number of children were also among those injured, who were taken to the Civil Hospital, Bolan Medical Complex and Combined Military Hospital (CMH).
Investigators believe the blast was caused by approximately 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of explosives.
The militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack.