Twin suicide blasts rock Pakistan's Quetta

At least 25 dead as Pakistan Taliban claims responsibility for attacks in revenge for arrest of al-Qaeda operatives.

    Police say they have identified one of the attackers as a 21-year-old Afghan refugee [Reuters]

    At least 25 people have been killed and several wounded in suicide bombings near a government compound in the Pakistani city of Quetta bordering Afghanistan.

    "First a car bomb exploded outside the residence of DIG [deputy inspector general] Frontier Corps, then a suicide bomber entered inside the house and blew himself up," Hamid Shakil, senior police official, said on Wednesday.

    One of the suicide bombers blew himself up in a vehicle packed with explosives near the car of Farrukh Shehzad, the DIG of Baluchistan. Shehzad was wounded and his wife was killed, police said.

    The other suicide bomber struck inside his house killing seven of his guards and brought down the walls of his house and nearby offices. Among those killed were two children.

    The police said they have identified one of the attackers as a 21-year-old Afghan refugee by the ID card found on his body.

    A man drenched in blood sat dazed beside the road next to the dead body of his baby. Auto-rickshaws were ripped apart by the force of the blasts.

    Both the explosions took place within five minutes of each other in a secure area of the city near the commissioner's office.

    Taliban claims responsibility

    The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bombings, saying it was to avenge the recent arrests of al-Qaeda operatives.

    "We carried out the attacks," Ehsanullah Ehsan, the Taliban spokesman, told the AFP news agency in a phone call from an undisclosed location.

    He said the two bombs, which also wounded 82 people, were "to avenge the arrest of our mujahedin brothers by Pakistani security forces in Quetta recently".

    Asked whether he was referring to the arrests, announced on Monday, of Younis al-Mauritani and two others, he said "Yes".

    The arrests of the al-Qaeda suspects were disclosed on Monday in an army statement that stressed the level of CIA involvement.

    The Frontier Corps, Pakistan's paramilitary force, took part in the operation, the army statement said.

    Quetta is a strategic town in Baluchistan province, bordering Afghanistan and Iran.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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