7 killed, 14 injured in blast in southwest Pakistan
Islamabad, July 13 (Xinhua-ANI): At least seven people were killed and 14 others injured when a bomb hit a public gathering near Pakistan's southwest city of Quetta on Friday morning, sources in Quetta told Xinhua by quoting hospital officials.
The blast took place at about 9:30 a.m. local time when a bomb fixed on a motorbike went off near a public gathering held by Awami National Party (ANP),one of the major political parties in Pakistan, in Kuchlak, a small town some 20 km away from Quetta, capital of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, according to Xinhua sources in the city and local media reports.
One child was killed and a ANP leader injured in the blast, said local media, adding that at least six vehicles and several shops near the blast site were also damaged.
Firing was heard following the blast, said local reports.
Security forces and rescue team have rushed to the site shortly after the blast was reported. All the injured have been shifted to hospital in Quetta.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
It remains unknown at this point why ANP held a public meeting there. But earlier this month seven miners from the country's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were kidnapped by unknown gunmen near Quetta and their bullet-ridden bodies were later found on Thursday.
The incident took place shortly before the Pakistani Prime Minister Pervez Ashraf is reportedly scheduled to arrive in Quetta.
Pervez Ashraf said in his first speech after he was elected as the country's new prime minister that his top priority is to solve the Balochistan problem.
Located in the country's southwest bordering Iran and Afghanistan, Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan with a mixed population of Shiite and Sunny Muslims. Sectarian attacks and separatist activities are frequently reported there, posing a serious threat to the country's stability. (Xinhua-ANI)
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