QUETTA - At least twelve personnel of Balochistan Constabulary (BC) and a civilian were killed while 18 others sustained injuries in a deadly remote controlled bomb attack in Quetta, on Thursday morning.

Police officials said, a coaster-van carrying around 25 personnel of Balochistan Constabulary’s Repeat Response Group (RRG) was targeted near Eastern Bypass, in the city outskirts.

“The BC personnel were on way to their duty at Civil Secretariat from BC Camp in a coaster when an auto rickshaw packed with explosives was exploded at Badini Link Road,” Deputy Inspector General Police Operations Fiaz Ahmed Sumbal told the media. He said that thirteen people, including twelve security personnel, were killed in the remote controlled blast.

The blast completely destroyed the vehicle and killed eight personnel on the spot while five others, including the driver, succumbed to their injuries on way to hospital. Over 18 people, including 15 BC personnel, also received critical injuries. The blast was so intensive that it also damaged other passing by vehicles, besides scattering windowpanes of nearby shops and houses.

Police and Frontier Corps rushed to the site after the incident and cordoned off the area. Bomb Disposal Squad officials said that approximately 100 kilograms of explosives material was used in the bomb. The banned militant outfit Tehrik Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack. “We proudly claim responsibility for Thursday’s blast in Quetta and the target was local police. The Balochistan police recently arrested and killed some of our colleagues belonging to Swat Taliban,” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told a foreign news agency.

Balochistan IGP Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhira visited the site and strongly condemned the attack and praised the BC personnel who rendered their lives for security to the people. He said it was the responsibility of people to cooperate with our Jawans in fighting the terrorists and criminals.

The IGP, who himself narrowly escaped a devastating suicide bomb attack in Quetta week ago, said that police was making all out efforts to maintain peace in the province.

He said that a new security plan would be prepared as terrorism could not be stopped by mere setting up of check posts and pickets.

When contacted Balochistan Home Secretary Captain (r) Akbar Hussain Durrani regretted the intelligence failure; however, he said that police was providing security to the people and it had arrested many criminals.

“Law enforcement agencies also recovered huge quantity of landmines and explosive material from Pishin a couple of day back and saved the people from a big disaster,” he said, adding that operation had been started in different areas of the city to track down the culprits.