Taliban suicide bomber kills 15 outside polio centre in Pakistan

Fifteen people died when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a polio vaccination centre in south-western Pakistan on Wednesday, officials said.

Twenty-five people were injured in the blast, which occurred in the city of Quetta in Balochistan province, police official Dilawar Khan told dpa.

At least 13 of the dead were security officials, Khan said.

The security officials were in a vehicle outside the centre when the bomber detonated his explosive vest, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti told journalists.

Health workers, police guards and personnel from the paramilitary Frontier Corps force were preparing for a door-to-door polio vaccination drive as part of a three-day campaign when they were attacked, Bugti said.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Mohamed Khorassani claimed responsibility for the attack in a message posted on the militant group’s website.

Islamist militants linked with al-Qaeda have killed nearly 100 health workers and security officials involved in a UN-funded polio vaccination campaign since 2012.

They have said the vaccine is the "enemy’s conspiracy to make Muslim children sterile."

The vaccination campaign was postponed after Wednesday's bombing, the provincial Health Ministry said.

At least 25 people with injuries were being treated at Quetta’s Civil Hospital, according to a doctor who asked not to be named. Two of the injured were in a critical state.

Last update: Wed, 13/01/2016 - 12:02
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