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Thirteen policemen among 15 killed in blast near polio centre in Quetta

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QUETTA: (APS) Jan 13,2016– At least fifteen people including 13 policemen were killed and 24 others injured in a suicide blast near a polio vaccination centre in Quetta, the police said.

The officers had been gathering outside the centre in Satellite Town area to accompany polio workers for the third day of a vaccination campaign in the province of Balochistan, of which Quetta is the capital.

“We are living in a war zone and I can‘t say anything about the nature of the blast,” Sarfaraz Bugti, Balochistan home minister, told media, adding that officials were investigating.

Bomb disposal squad and security personnel arrived at the scene. The blast site was cordoned off and the injured were shifted to the civil hospital in Quetta.

Eye-witness Shabir Ahmed, a 32-year-old police constable, told AFP he had been deployed to protect a polio vaccination team that was due to leave for various neighbourhoods of Quetta at 10:00am.

“Suddenly there was a loud bang and I fell to the ground, I could not see anything, there was dust everywhere,” he said.

“Then I heard people screaming and sirens of ambulances,” he continued

According to bomb disposal squad, seven kilograms of explosives were used in the attack.

While condemning the incident, Prime Minister said the government is committed to stamp out extremism from the country and the operation will continue till elimination of terrorism.

He said Pakistan Army has destroyed hideouts of terrorists and is now engaged to eliminate terrorists.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai and Sardar Sanaullah Zehri have also condemned the blast and directed to provide all best medical facilities to the injured.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and leaders of different political parties expressed sympathies with the families of the victims.

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