QUETTA: At least 15 people, including eight security personnel, were killed and scores were wounded when a powerful bomb went off near an army truck in Quetta on Saturday.
The death toll is feared to go up as some of those injured are said to be in critical condition.
The blast took place near Mehdi Hospital at Pishin Stop.
According to ISPR, an army truck was the main target of the terrorists.
The injured were rushed to Civil Hospital, where a state of emergency was declared.
The huge intensity of the explosion smashed windscreens of many vehicles parked near the blast site. Two cars, rickshaws and motorcycles caught fire after the blast.
Security forces reached the scene and cordoned off the area.
Reports are coming in that Independence Day celebrations were under way at nearby Ayub Stadium when the blast occurred.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz said that it was a big blast. "Rescue operation is over and all those injured have been shifted to Civil Hospital," Bugti said. "Among the victims are security personnel and civilians," he said.
"I was going home by an auto rickshaw when I heard the blast. I rushed to the blast site and saw jawans lying injured," an eyewitness told SAMAA.
Many bodies were burned beyond recognition, he said.
In a press statement, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa condemned the terrorist attack on Army truck in Quetta
"This terrorist attack was an attempt to mar Independence Day festivity. Our resolve won't succumb to any challenge," General Bajwa said.
COAS condemns terrorist attack on Army truck in Quetta, an attempt to mar Indep Day festivity. Our resolve won't succumb to any challenge.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) August 12, 2017