At least 20 people, including a Frontier Constabulary officer and two children, were killed in an explosion in Quetta's Hazarganji Friday morning.
According to security forces, a car belonging to members of the Hazara community was targeted in the attack. However, they could not confirm whether the bomb was planted or thrown at the vehicle.
Balochistan home minister Zia Ullah Langu said that it was a suicide blast, adding that two of the dead were children.
The bomb detonated near a site where produce was being loaded for distribution around the market.
"I was loading a small truck and I heard a huge bang and it seemed as if the earth beneath me had shaken and I fell down," said Irfan Khan, a labourer, from his hospital bed.
"The atmosphere was filled with black smoke and I could not see anything, I could hear people screaming for help and I was also screaming for help."
He said the air was "filled with the stinging smell of burnt human flesh".
DIG Abdul Razzak Cheema confirmed the death toll. Civil Hospital authorities said they have received 12 bodies and five injured people.
Islamic State (Daesh) has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a statement by the group’s Amaq news agency.
Over 40 people have been injured in the attack, according to the DIG. Rescue workers say the number of injuries could rise. They have been taken to the Bolan Medical Complex Hospital and Civil Hospital. An emergency has been declared at both hospitals.
The Hazara community staged a protest on the Western Bypass.
Amnesty International said the blast was a "painful reminder" of the many attacks suffered by the Hazara community in Quetta over the years, and called for the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to give them better protection.
"Each time, there are promises that more will be done to protect them, and each time those promises have failed to materialize," wrote Omar Waraich, Amnesty's deputy director for South Asia.