Peshawar/Quetta - A suicide bombing near a market in Quetta killed six people and wounded at least 20 on Saturday, hours after a powerful bomb went off at a bus station in Kohat, killing six and wounding 17.

The suicide bomber struck around the sunset in Quetta’s Hazara Town, home to Hazara community.

“According to initial information, six people were killed and 20 others injured in result of a suicide attack in Hazara Town,” Quetta police chief Abdul Razzak Cheema told reporters.

“The suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded bazaar where people were busy in shopping for Eidul Azha,” Cheema said. “We have sent teams to the area to rescue the injured and investigate details of the attack,” Cheema said.

The bomber was approaching a local market when police stopped him at a checkpoint, at which point he detonated his explosives, said Cheema.

The blast was so powerful that the severed head of the bomber was later found on the premises of a girls’ school nearby, said Bostan Ali, a local resident. The explosion also partly damaged the outer wall of the school and two vehicles, Ali said.

Also Saturday, a huge roadside bomb explosion in a suburban area of Quetta wounded at least seven people.

Planted in a car parked by the side of the road, the bomb went off in a suburb of the city of Quetta as police officer’s vehicle was passing. Officials said it was unclear whether he was the target.

“The bomb was planted in a car in a relatively deserted location on Spini Road. It exploded just after a police deputy superintendent passed,” Quetta police chief Abdul Razzak Cheema told AFP.

“Seven people who got injured in the blast were taken to hospital,” Cheema added.

Bomb disposal experts said a remote control was used in the blast.

“A planted device was used for the explosion which was detonated by remote control. Up to 40 kilograms of explosives were used in the blast,” said bomb disposal chief Commander Abdul Razzak.

“Luckily the area was not that crowded. This huge quantity of explosives could have killed many people if exploded in a busy area,” he said. No group has yet claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.

Earlier in the day, at least six persons, including a child, were killed and 17 others sustained injuries when a bomb exploded at a van stand in Kohat district.

According to details, a bomb planted by unknown miscreants at a bus stand in Peshawar Chowk exploded when passengers were waiting for a van. As a result, six persons, identified as Qamar Abbas, Qambar Ali, Taimur, Syed Shah, Zainul Hassan and Mehtab Ali, were killed, while 17 others sustained wounds in the explosion.

The injured were rushed to the Divisional Headquarters Hospital and Liaqat Hospital for treatment. Three of the injured were stated to be in critical condition.

Police said the bomb contained at least 5kg explosive material which was detonated through a remote control. Besides, two more vehicles standing nearby were also destroyed in the blast.

The bomb exploded with a bang. Official sources said that the bus stand where the blast occurred was being run illegally carrying passengers to outskirts of district Kohat.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Kohat Commissioner Syed Jamaluddin and DPO Salim Marwat visited the blast site. The bomb disposal squad (BDS) confirmed around 5kg explosive material was used in the blast.

Soon after the incident, police rushed to the site and cordoned off the area, besides blocking the main Kohat-Hangu Road for all sorts of traffic.

There is great rush in markets and bus stands nowadays as people are leaving for their native towns to celebrate Eidul Azha with their families. The targeted van was also full of passengers leaving for their homes after shopping in Kohat.

It is worth mentioning that two days ago seven people were killed in a similar blast targeting a passenger coach at a bus stand in Peshawar. After a brief calm, violence has once again increased in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the militancy-stricken province.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and Governor Mehtab Abbasi have expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in the Kohat blast.

Pervez Khattak vowed that the new wave of terrorism would be crushed with iron hands while security strategy would be reviewed for further stringent security measures, if required.

He also announced compensation for the martyrs and injured. Under the martyrs package, the heirs of all those martyred, including a child, would be paid Rs 500,000 each and injured Rs 200,000 each.

AFP adds: “The blast occurred at a small bus stop in Kohat city. At least two vehicles were damaged in the explosion,” DPO Salim Khan Marwat said. Fazal Khaliq, head of the emergency department at Kohat’s main government hospital, also confirmed the toll.

In February, 12 people, including two women and a child were killed in a bombing at the same bus stop. It is the second attack on a passenger vehicle to hit northwest Pakistan in a week. On Thursday, a bomb blast on a coach in Peshawar killed at least seven people and wounded another six.