11 killed in suicide blast in Quetta

The bomber drove a car laden with about 40 kg of explosives intending to hit a Shia mosque at prayers time, but finding the place heavily guarded, detonated the bomb in a nearby parking lot.

At the time of the blast, people were returning home after Eid prayers.

The explosion was so powerful that it destroyed 10 cars and several nearby houses, Capital City Police Officer Quetta (CCPO) Ahsan Mahboob said adding it was a suicide attack.

While the death toll is 11 at present, authorities fear a rise in the number of casualties and have declared an emergency at the Civil Hospital after the incident.

"Remains of a badly mutilated body were found in the debris of the bomber's car," police said.

They said the man was not wearing explosives on his body but had planted them in the car and detonated it when he could not go beyond the parking lot.

Television footage showed thick black smoke rising from the area as people ran helter-skelter.

There was no immediate of claim of responsibility for the attack but Quetta houses a large number of Taliban cadres who are known for their anti-shiite stance.

The Shiite community of Quetta has announced that it will observe seven days of mourning to condemn the attack.

Members of the Shiite community also gathered and staged a protest at the site of the blast where they chanted slogans against the government.

The blast came as the country was celebrating three-day holiday for Eid-ul Fitr to mark the ending of the fasting month of Ramadan.

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