QUETTA, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — At least 23 people were killed after two suicide bombings in the western Pakistani city of Quetta on Wednesday morning, officials said. Dozens more were injured.
The attacks occurred early Wednesday morning at around 9 a.m. local time outside the residence of the DIG Frontier Corps (FC) near the Commissioner Office in Quetta, which serves as the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan Province.
According to police reports, the first suicide bomber rammed an explosive-filled vehicle into another vehicle belonging to the FC, which was parked outside the residence. Following the blast, the second suicide attacker entered and opened fire against inmates before blowing himself up.
Officials said DIG FC Brigadier Farukah Shehzad was the target of the attack. Despite only suffering injuries from the blasts, his wife was killed and Colonel Khalid of FC also died. At least 23 people died in total, while 50 others sustained injuries. The death toll could rise however, as several of the injured were reported in serious conditions.
Emergency teams, police, bomb squads, and FC officials rushed to the scene, as the injured were shifted to Quetta’s civil hospital and the Combined Military Hospital. An emergency was declared at all the hospitals in Quetta.
The area of the attack has been cordoned off, as investigations into the incident continue. Officials have already recovered some body parts of the alleged suicide attackers, which have been sent to a laboratory for a forensic report, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
The deadly attack comes only two days after Pakistani officials confirmed the arrest of three senior members of al-Qaeda, including Younis Al Mauritani who was mainly responsible for planning and conducting international operations for the terrorist organization and had been personally tasked by the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to focus on hitting targets of economical importance in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Some media reports on Wednesday said the deadly Quetta blasts were carried out by the Pakistani Taliban to avenge the operation against al-Qaeda. The Pakistani Taliban also carried out revenge attacks earlier this year after the death of global al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. forces in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad on May 1st.
The attack comes also just several days before the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. The attacks, carried out by al-Qaeda, left nearly 3,000 people killed when hijacked passenger planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.