13 May 2013

Bomber targets police chief's residence in Quetta

9:12 pm on 13 May 2013

The police chief of Pakistan's restive southwestern province of Baluchistan has narrowly escaped a suicide attack that killed at least six people and wounded 46 others, according to officials.

Inspector General Mushtaq Sukhera had just entered his residence in the provincial capital Quetta when a suicide bomber in a vehicle laden with explosives blew themselves up outside on Sunday.

"At least two policemen, three paramilitary soldiers and one passer-by were killed outside the inspector general's residence and 46 others were wounded," Home Secretary Akbar Durrani said.

A huge amount of explosives were packed into the vehicle and the blast left a deep crater, with the explosion shattering nearby windows and sending debris flying, he said.

Senior police official Mobin Ahmed said the police chief was safe, while another official said the blast was so loud it was heard all over the city, AFP reports.

Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is plagued by Islamist militancy, attacks on the Shi'ite Muslim minority and a separatist Baluch insurgency.

In the lead-up to the general elections, which have been won by the Muslim League, violence blamed on the Taliban killed about 120 people and injured 400.