At least three killed in southwest Pakistan bomb blast

QUETTA, PAKISTAN (AFP) – At least three people were killed and six others wounded yesterday when a bomb exploded in Pakistan’s restive southwestern province of Balochistan, police said.

The explosion occurred in a suburban neighbourhood in Quetta, Balochistan’s capital that is home to several separatist and extremist insurgencies.

“Three dead bodies and six injured have been taken to hospital,” Munir Ahmad, a Quetta police official, told AFP.

Ahmad said the bomb had been concealed in a motorcycle that was parked at a vegetable market in the Hazarganji neighbourhood.

An intelligence official in Quetta confirmed details of the blast.

It occurred in a different part of town to where thousands of anti-government demonstrators were gathering for a rally yesterday as part of a series of protests against Prime Minister Imran Khan organised by an opposition alliance.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

While the target was unclear, Hazarganji is home to a large population of Hazaras, a mainly Shia community that has been hit in the past.

Bordering Iran and Afghanistan, Balochistan is the largest of Pakistan’s four provinces, but its roughly seven million inhabitants have long complained they do not receive a fair share of its gas and mineral wealth.