38 killed in Pakistan blast

Islamabad, Aug 8 (IANS) At least 38 people, including three senior police officers, were killed Thursday in a blast at the funeral of a slain police officer in Pakistan's Quetta city, a leading Pakistani daily said.

"At least 38 people have been killed and more than 50 injured," The Dawn quoted senior police official Mohammad Tariq as saying.

"Most of the dead and injured are policemen," he added. Several of the wounded were said to be in critical condition.

According to media reports, the bomb exploded outside a mosque where the funeral of station house officer Mohibullah was being held.

The officer was shot dead earlier Thursday morning by unknown gunmen in Killi Almo area of the capital city of Balochistan province.

The bomb went off as senior officers prepared to offer prayers for their colleague. Police sources said the bomb, which appeared to have been exploded by a suicide bomber, contained between 8-10 kg of explosive material.

The injured have been rushed to hospital.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police-Operations Fayyaz Sumbal, Deputy Superintendent of Police-Headquarters Shamsuddin and Superintendent Ali Mehr were confirmed to be among the senior police officials killed in the bombing, police said.

Eyewitnesses said fear and chaos spread among the people attending the funeral following the loud explosion.

No militant group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, one of the worst targeted attacks on police personnel in the violence-hit Quetta.

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