Pakistan: 16 people dead after bomb explodes in Quetta

A bomb hidden among bags of potatoes at a Pakistani market killed at least 16 people, half of them ethnic Hazaras, officials said, in an attack apparently aimed at minority Shi’ite Muslims.

At least 30 people were wounded in the blast in the southwestern city of Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province, officials said.

The attack came after a lull of at least a year in attacks against Hazaras, though there have been isolated shootings.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The blast took place at Hazar Ganji, a fruit and vegetable market on the outskirts of Quetta.

Hazaras have been frequently targeted by Taliban and Islamic State militants and other Sunni Muslim militant groups in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In 2013, three separate bombings killed more than 200 people in Hazara neighborhoods.

After a series of attacks, security forces started escorting Hazara buses to the market. On Friday, the same practice was followed but the blast took place inside the market.

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