Bomb kills 64 in Pakistan's Quetta

Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:55pm EST
 
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By Gul Yousufzai

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Sixty-four people including school children died on Saturday in a bomb attack carried out by extremists from Pakistan's Sunni Muslim majority, police said.

A spokesman for Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni group, claimed responsibility for the bomb in Quetta, which caused casualties in the town's main bazaar, a school and a computer center. Police said most of the victims were Shi'ites.

Burned school bags and books were strewn around.

"The explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device fitted to a motorcycle," said Wazir Khan Nasir, deputy inspector general of police in Quetta.

"This is a continuation of terrorism against Shi'ites."

"I saw many bodies of women and children," said an eyewitness at a hospital. "At least a dozen people were burned to death by the blast."

Most Western intelligence agencies have regarded the Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda as the gravest threat to nuclear-armed Pakistan, a strategic U.S. ally.

But Pakistani law enforcement officials say Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has become a formidable force.   Continued...

 
Smoke rises after a bomb attack in a Shi'ite Muslim area of the Pakistani city of Quetta February 16, 2013. Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which intelligence officials say has become a major security threat, claimed responsibility for the sectarian attack on Shi'ites which killed 47 people in the city of Quetta on Saturday. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed