İrem UZUN -TDO- (18.02.2020)- At least 10 people were killed in a "suicide blast" that targeted a police vehicle in southwestern Pakistan on Monday, officials said. Two police personnel were among those killed in the blast in the city of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province. "We have received 10 bodies so far and 35 wounded in a civil hospital," a hospital official told Reuters news agency.
Zia Langove, home minister of the southwestern Balochistan province, said Monday's explosion took place close to the event organized by Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat (ASWJ), a political party allegedly linked with a sectarian armed group. "An attacker came on a motorcycle, and he was stopped by police [near the rally]," Langove told Al Jazeera. "Then, there was an explosion." No group has so far claimed responsibility. Police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema told reporters the attack was being treated as a suicide bombing. "Instead of stopping, he (the attacker) attempted to continue going forward," he said. "They struggled with him, toppling him and stopping him. As he fell, he detonated himself, which killed two of our men, those who had stopped him and others."
The bombing came on a day when Pakistani Interior Minister Ijaz Shah confirmed widespread media reports that a notorious militant leader had recently escaped from the custody of state security agencies. The confirmation comes days after Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesman of the Pakistani Taliban militant group, formally known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), released a video message circulated on social media claiming he had fled the custody of security agencies. “The news is true. It's true,” Shah told reporters in Islamabad about Ehsan's escape.