Islamabad: At least 13 people, including 11 security personnel, were killed and more than 20 injured on Thursday when a powerful rickshaw bomb ripped through a bus carrying soldiers in the restive Quetta city of southwest Pakistan.
The bomb containing around 100 kilos of explosives went off as the bus carrying Balochistan Constabulary personnel was passing through Bhosa Mandi area on the outskirts of the city this morning, police officials said.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Fayyaz Ahmed Sumbal said at least 11 security personnel and two civilians were killed in the attack.
The bomb, which was planted in a rickshaw, targeted the truck of Balochistan Constabulary which was carrying the security personnel, he said.
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan have claimed responsibility for the blast.
"We proudly claim responsibility for Thursday`s blast in Quetta and the target was local police. The Balochistan police recently arrested and killed some of our colleagues belonging to the Swat Taliban," Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan was quoted as saying in media reports.
The injured were taken to the nearby Civil Hospital, police said, adding that the death toll could rise.
Those with serious injuries were later shifted to a military hospital. Officials said five of the wounded were in a critical condition.
Police officials said the bomb was detonated by remote control while the bus was passing through the area.
Members of the bomb disposal squad said an estimated 100 kg of explosives were used in the attack.
Footage on television showed that the bus was destroyed by the blast. Debris lay scattered over a wide area.
Local residents and rescue teams rushed the dead and injured to hospital.
Law enforcement agencies, including the Frontier Corps and police, cordoned off the area and launched a search operation.