Death toll from a series of deadly bomb attacks in Quetta and Swat has reached 115 as more injured died of wounds in hospitals, police and doctors said Friday.
Three blasts Thursday ripped through crowded places in Quetta, killing 93 people and injuring nearly 235. At least two newsmen and several police officers were among the dead.
A suicide attack on a preaching center in Swat district killed 22 people while injured dozens others, health officials and police said.
Police sources said that the twin attacks late Thursday in Quetta targeted Shiites Muslims when a car bomb was used near a snooker center on Alamdar Road of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan.
Shiite groups and the Balochistan government declared three days of mourning against the killings of the slain men, mostly civilians.
The media described the Quetta blasts as ‘Black Thursday’ and the officials viewed the bloodbath and an assault on the city.
The tragedy started when a bomb blast near a check post of security forces in a crowded place in Quetta killed at least 11 people and injured dozens others on Thursday afternoon. Several paramilitary soldiers were among the dead at the crowded Bacha Khan square. Nearly 50 others were injured, according to police.
The bomb was attached to a car and police said a remote control device was used to detonate the bomb.
At least 13 vehicles including two Frontier Corps pickups were also destroyed in the blast. The explosion also caused serious damage to the nearby shops, offices and homes as the checkpost is set up at a densely populated area in the city.
Few hours later, terrorists struck a snooker club on Alamdar Road in Quetta, causing casualties late Thursday. Police later said it was a suicide attack and the used a car.
As ambulances, police and media persons arrived at the scene for their duties, another blast hit the area, causing more casualties. Two newsmen, several members of the ambulance service and policemen were killed in twin blasts.
Section of the local media said that a banned extremist group ‘Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’ claimed responsibility for the late Thursday’s blasts.
The Quetta City police chief Mir Zubair confirmed that 81 were killed and 121 wounded in the twin bomb attack. Eleven people were killed in the previous blast.
The injured were shifted to a military and civil hospital and doctors said that several injured were registered critical.
Meanwhile a bomb blast hit a preaching center in the Swat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Thursday evening, killing at least 22 people, police said. Over 60 others were injured.
Hundreds of people were gathering inside the ‘Tableeghi Jamaat’ center for Friday prayers when the blast went off.
Initial reports said that it was a gas cylinder blast, but local officials later confirmed it was a blast of terrorist nature.
The bomb was planted in the basement of the preaching center, they said.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf strongly condemned the attacks and directed the concerned authorities to provide the best possible medical treatment to the blast victims.