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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:51 am

Pakistan: Death toll from market bombing is now 25

By ABDUL SATTARAssociated Press

The death toll from a bombing at a market in Pakistan's southwest has risen to 25, Pakistani Police said on Saturday. Many of the 70 people wounded in the blast were still in critical condition.

Senior police officer Wazir Khan Nasir said the bomb went off in a Shiite Muslim-dominated residential suburb of the city of Quetta. Residents rushed the victims to three different hospitals.

Nasir said the bomb was detonated by remote control. Another officer, Samiullah Khan, said police were investigating whether the bomb was planted in a rickshaw parked in the crowded vegetable market. He said the bomb was detonated while dozens of women and children were shopping for the evening meal.

Members of the minority Shiite sect took to the city streets in angry protest, blocking roads with burning tires and throwing stones at passing vehicles. In response, police cordoned off the area.

Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, where the Shiite minority has been attacked several times in recent months. Baluch nationalist groups are fighting an insurgency there to try to gain a greater share of income from the province's gas and mineral resources. Islamic militants and the banned sectarian group Lashker-e-Jhangvi are also active in the province.