At least 13 people, including four security personnel, were injured in a roadside IED (improvised explosives device) blast targeting a vehicle of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) near Zarghoon Road in Quetta on Thursday.
According to rescue officials, nine civilians and four security officials were injured in the explosion which also shattered windows of nearby buildings. The bomb, planted along the roadside, was detonated remotely as the ATF’s vehicle passed by.
The injured were rushed to Civil Hospital and CMH by rescue teams for treatment. Security forces and a bomb disposal squad reached the scene to collect evidence. Police cordoned off the area and a search operation was launched.
The blast was so powerful that it was heard in far off localities, shaking nearby buildings, according to witnesses. A motorbike and two cars were also damaged in the explosion.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Balochistan Sarfraz Bugti said that anti-terrorism police was the primary target of the blast on Zarghoon Road. The car of Judge of Shariat Court Zahoor Shahwani had passed through the same spot before the blast, he added.
Sarfraz who visited the site of the blast along with the Frontier Constabulary inspector general said that four personnel of Counter Terrorism Department were injured in the blast that was carried out through a planted device in which four kilogrammes of explosives were used.
Meanwhile, Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel and intelligence agencies arrested at least 33 suspects during raids in different areas of Quetta on Thursday morning.
According to the FC spokesperson, the joint raids were conducted in Kali Kamali and Kechi Baig areas. A rifle, two SMGs and four pistols were recovered during the action.
On the other hand, the security personnel rounded up two suspects in Kali Mengal areas of Noshaki. A rocket launcher, 3 rockets, one MMG and other materials were recovered from their possession.
The law enforcement agencies have expanded scope of combing operations three days after a suicide blast at the government-run civil hospital in Quetta killed more than 70 people, most of them lawyers and journalists.