A rescuer inspects the blast site in southwest Pakistan's Quetta on April 12, 2019. At least 16 people, including one security personnel and two children, were killed and 30 others injured when a bomb ripped through an open-air market in Pakistan's southwest city of Quetta on Friday morning, officials and local reports said. (Xinhua)
ISLAMABAD, April 12 (Xinhua) -- At least 16 people, including one security personnel and two children, were killed and 30 others injured when a bomb ripped through an open-air market in Pakistan's southwest city of Quetta on Friday morning, officials and local reports said.
Deputy Inspector General of police Abdul Razzaq Cheema confirmed the death toll, saying that the blast targeted the market area frequented by Shiite Muslims in Hazarganji area of Quetta, the provincial capital of southwest Balochistan province.
Local residents said large numbers of shoppers were present in the market when a loud explosion was heard in the center of the market.
The blast triggered severe panic among the shoppers who run for their safety, according to local reports.
Buildings located nearby were damaged in the powerful blast, police said, adding that several vehicles were also partially destroyed.
Police, rescue teams and additional contingents of security forces rushed to the site following the blast and shifted the bodies and injured to the Bolan Medical Complex and Civil Hospital in the city for medical treatment.
Death toll may further rise and six among the injured are in critical condition. Four paramilitary soldiers personnel were also among the injured, according to the hospital sources.
A state of emergency has been declared in all the hospitals in the city following the blast.
No group immediately claimed the attack. Pakistani Taliban militants have often struck at Shiites communities on religious grounds.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and sought a report from the concerned authorities. He also directed the hospital administrations to provide best medical treatment to the injured people.
Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan also condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with the victims. He promised swift action against perpetrators of the incident.