16 killed, 30 injured in a bomb blast in Pakistan

Islamabad: A powerful bomb went off at an open-air market in southwestern Pakistan in the city of Quetta on Friday, killing at least 16 and injuring about 30, informed police officials.

The bombing took place near a residential area where minority Shiite Muslims live, according to senior police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema.

A local police officer who was posted at the fruit market and survived the bomb said the area had been packed at the time of the blast early in the morning.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but outlawed Sunni extremist groups have claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the past. Sunni extremists view Shiites as apostates deserving death.

Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan’s largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies. The prime demands being autonomy and a greater share in the region’s natural resources such as gas and oil.

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