QUETTA: The death toll from a devastating bomb attack in Quetta rose to 81 Sunday, as the community threatened protests if swift action was not taken against the killers.
The bomb containing nearly a tonne of explosives, hidden in a water tanker, tore through a crowded market in Hazara town of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, early on Saturday evening.
The death toll from the blast, which demolished a nearby two-storey building, rose to 81 overnight, senior police official Wazir Khan Nasir told AFP, while 178 people were wounded.
Baluchistan has increasingly become a flashpoint for the surging sectarian violence.
It was the second major attack Quetta this year, after a double suicide bombing on a snooker club in the city on January 10 killed at least 92 people, the deadliest ever attack on the community in Pakistan.
Protests in the wake of the snooker hall attack prompted Islamabad to sack the provincial government and suspend its legislature and Shiite leaders said there would be more demonstrations if the culprits behind the market bombing were not caught.
Azizullah Hazara, chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party, Sunday gave a 48-hour deadline to the provincial government to launch targeted operations against the killers or they would launch protests.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013