A suicide bomber blew himself up near Pakistan's Balochistan Assembly, killing six persons including four policemen and injuring 18 others, hours after provincial Chief Minister resigned from his post due to political instability.
According to initial inputs, the suicide bomber on a bike hit a Frontier Constabulary truck in Quetta's Zarghoon road in the high-security Red Zone, around 300 metres from the provincial Assembly building and chief minister secretariat. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Balochistan Moazzam Ansari said that the attack killed four policemen and two civilians.
About 18 people including seven policemen were also injured who were shifted to various hospitals of the city, police said. "It is a clear act of terrorism but we are still trying to determine whether it was a suicide bomb attack," a senior police official said. A special session of the Assembly had been called to take up a no-confidence vote against Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri but was postponed after he resigned from his post, amid speculation of 'horse trading' as the government and the Opposition had claimed to have enjoyed the support of majority of leaders. Senior police officials said that the suicide bomber, who had targeted the FC truck, was well aware of the activities going on in the vicinity. Since the rescue operation was still on, the number of casualties may go up, officials said. Hospital sources also confirmed the death toll, saying at least six persons, including four policemen, were killed and at least 18 others injured in the explosion.
According to sources, initial investigation suggested that the suicide attacker was attempting to target the Balochistan Assembly building but detonated his explosives near the high-security Red Zone area. A large number of security personnel had been deployed in view of the Assembly session. Police and rescue teams have cordoned off the area. In December, nine Christians were killed and over 50 others injured in an ISIS-claimed terror attack on the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church also located on Zarghoon road.