Conflict & Justice

Pakistan: Series of bombings kills 115


Onlookers gather at the site of a bomb explosion in Quetta on January 10, 2013. A bomb attack killed 11 people and wounded dozens more in a crowded part of Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta, police said.


Banaras KHAN

A series of bombs exploded in Pakistan today, killing scores of people.

A billiard hall in the southwest city of Quetta was hit by two blasts, which killed 69 people. 

The death toll in Pakistan kept rising throughout the day, with The New York Times reporting a final count of 115 people killed and more than 270 wounded. That number includes those killed in an earlier bombing which targeted paramilitary soldiers near a commercial district of Quetta.

One of the devices was planted under a car parked on one of the city's busiest shopping streets, Pakistani news site The Nation reported.

One of the blasts was powerful enough to leave a nine-foot-wide crater in the road, The Nation said

Agence France-Presse reported that the twin blasts in the billiard hall were the result of two suicide bombers.

Officer Mir Zubair Mehmood told AFP that the first suicide bomber detonated his device inside the club, and a second attacker blew himself up 10 minutes later, as police, media workers and rescue teams converged on the site.

At least three security officials were among those killed, according to the AP.

The AP reported that the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to local journalists.

The Times noted that the militant group is a Sunni group with strong ties to the Pakistan Taliban.

Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, where nationalist and Islamist insurgents are fighting the Pakistani military.

The area is also the scene of sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

A third bombing at a crowded Sunni mosque in the northwest city of Mingora killed 22 people and wounded more than 70, according to a senior police officer cited by the AP. No group claimed responsibility for this attack.