Suspected suicide bombing kills 10 in Pakistan

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:15am GMT

By Gul Yousafzai

QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - A suspected suicide car bomb attack killed 10 people in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province on Wednesday, police said, as the country celebrated the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.

Two women and two children were among the dead and about 20 more were wounded in the blast in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan, which has been plagued by sectarian and separatist militant violence for years.

"According to initial information it appears to be a suspected suicide car bombing but we are investigating," a top police official, Hamid Shakeel, told Reuters.

Another police official, Ayaz Haider, said it was a sectarian attack and occurred in an area mostly inhabited by the Shi'ite Hazara community.

About 10 cars caught fire after the explosion, which also damaged nearby houses.

There was no claim of responsibility.

The attack came as people in predominantly Muslim Pakistan celebrated Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The majority of Pakistanis are Sunni Muslims, with Shi'ites accounting for between 15 percent and 20 percent of a population of about 180 million.   Continued...

Firefighters spray water on damaged vehicles at the site of a car bomb blast in Quetta August 31, 2011.  REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed
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