Islamabad, Jun 18: Five persons were killed and more than 50 others injured when a bus carrying Shia students was targeted with a powerful car bomb in Quetta city of southwest Pakistan today, officials said.
The bomb, hidden in a car parked by the roadside, was triggered by remote control when the bus reached the campus of the Balochistan University of Information Technology at Samungli Road this morning.
All the dead were students, officials said. Four female students and four policemen were among the injured.
The policemen were in a van that was escorting the bus. The injured were taken to the Combined Military Hospital, the Bolan Medical Complex and the Civil Hospital.
At least 12 students, who were in a critical condition, were taken to the military hospital, officials said. Police officials said the bus was the target of the attack.
The bomb contained about 40 kg of explosives and metal pellets, officials of bomb disposal squad said. The blast created a crater that was three feet deep and about 10 feet wide.
A rickshaw was destroyed by the blast, which damaged several nearby buildings.
Security forces cordoned off the site of the blast, located in a residential area of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, and launched a search operation.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. This was the latest in a string of attacks in Balochistan targeting the minority Shia community.
Dozens of Hazara Shias have been killed, mainly in drive-by shootings, this year. The violence has been blamed on the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a notorious anti-Shia group.