News / Asia

Two Dozen Killed in Pakistani Province

A Pakistani paramilitary soldier sits in the back of a vehicle next to the lifeless body of his colleague who was killed by gunmen during a gun battle at a hospital, in Quetta, Pakistan, June 15, 2013.
A Pakistani paramilitary soldier sits in the back of a vehicle next to the lifeless body of his colleague who was killed by gunmen during a gun battle at a hospital, in Quetta, Pakistan, June 15, 2013.
VOA News
Pakistani police say a series of gun and bomb attacks in the southwestern Baluchistan province have left about two dozen people dead.

Two of Saturday's attacks took place in the provincial capital, Quetta.

In the first incident, a bomb ripped through a bus carrying female university students, killing at least 14 people.

Investigators say about 20 people were wounded in the bombing, which caused a fire on the bus.

Police say several bombs exploded a short time later at a hospital where many of the bus victims had been taken.  

Authorities say unidentified gunmen then opened fire at the hospital and took control of part of the facility.

A local journalist, Shahzada Zulfiqar,  told VOA that some reporters were among those who were trapped inside the building as security forces and gunmen exchanged fire.

 “When they rushed there the blast occurred and the firing started so they are now caught up in the hospital, surrounded by a heavy force of paramilitary forces.”  

Pakistan's interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan says the siege ended when security forces stormed the hospital and freed 35 people who were trapped inside.

Authorities say a deputy city commissioner, four security force officers and four suspected attackers were among those killed at the hospital. Another suspected attacker was arrested.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Baluchistan province has been plagued by insurgent unrest.

Earlier Saturday, police said militants destroyed a historic house in Baluchistan province.

Authorities say the attackers planted several bombs near the 19th century wooden residence associated with Pakistan's founder. The attackers shot and killed a police guard in the pre-dawn attack.

The blast occurred in the mountain resort town of Ziarat, where Mohammad Ali Jinnah lived before his death in 1948, a year after he led Pakistan to independence.

Baluchistan is home to several Baluch nationalist groups that demand greater rights and a share of gas and mineral revenues.

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