Friday, 11 January 2013 12:28
QUETTA: A string of bombings in Pakistan including a twin suicide attack on a snooker hall has left 115 people dead, in one of the nation's deadliest days in years.
At least 82 people were killed and 121 wounded on Thursday when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the crowded snooker club in an area of the southwestern city of Quetta, a police officer said.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for what was the worst single attack.
Earlier on Thursday, a bomb detonated under a security forces' vehicle in a crowded part of Quetta, killing 11 people and wounding dozens more.
And in a third incident, a bomb exploded at a religious gathering in the northwestern Swat valley, killing 22 people and wounding more than 80, in the deadliest incident in the district since the army in 2009 fought off a two-year Taliban insurgency.
At the snooker club the first suicide bomber struck inside the building, then 10 minutes later an attacker in a car outside blew himself up as police, media workers and rescue teams rushed to the site, said officer Mir Zubair Mehmood.
Akbar Hussain Durrani, the home secretary in the provincial government of Baluchistan, told AFP that the death toll had risen to 82 with more than 120 wounded.
Nine police personnel, three local journalists and several rescue workers were among those killed, officials said.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility in telephone calls to local journalists.
The bombings damaged several shops and nearby buildings. At least four local ambulance service vehicles were destroyed and people were seen wailing beside bodies lying on the ground, an AFP photographer said.
"The explosion occurred due to a bomb. Around five kilograms (11 pounds) of explosives were used in the blast," Shafqat Malik, a senior bomb disposal official, told AFP.
In the earlier attack in Quetta, bombers targeted Frontier Corps personnel, planting a device underneath one of their vehicles, a senior police investigator said.
"At least one FC personnel was killed and 10 others wounded, two of them seriously," FC spokesman Murtaza Baig told AFP.
"I went out of my shop and saw a thick cloud of dust. I was very scared and saw people screaming in panic. There were dead bodies and injured people shouting for help," said Allah Dad, a local shopkeeper.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013