A suicide bomb blast has struck a police vehicle in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, killing at least one police officer and two civilians and wounding dozens, according to police.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) armed group, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, two days after announcing an end to a ceasefire agreed with the government in June.
Quetta Police’s Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ghulam Azfar Mahesar told reporters the vehicle that was targeted was carrying security personnel deployed to protect polio vaccination campaign workers in the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
Mahesar said the incident in Buleli district wounded at least 24 people, 20 of whom are policemen. He added that two other vehicles were also damaged in the attack.
Javed Akhtar, an official at the government hospital in Quetta, said that a four-year-old girl and a woman were among the civilian casualties.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the explosion, expressing his grief over the death of civilians and police officials.
“Polio workers are performing their duties to end this disease without fearing for their lives. Ending polio completely is among the top priorities of the government,” he said.
Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also issued a statement, denouncing the attack and asking for a detailed investigation into the incident.