Bombings kill 115 people throughout Pakistan

Friday, January 11, 2013

QUETTA, Pakistan -- A series of bombings Thursday in different parts of Pakistan killed 115 people, including 81 who died in a sectarian attack on a bustling billiard hall in the southwest city of Quetta, officials said.

The blasts punctuated one of the deadliest days in recent years in Pakistan, where the government faces a bloody insurgency by Taliban militants in the northwest and Baluch militants in the southwest.

A U.S. missile strike Thursday killed five suspected militants in the seventh such attack in two weeks, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The billiard hall in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, was hit by twin blasts about five minutes apart on Thursday night, killing 81 people and wounding more than 120 others, said senior police officer Zubair Mehmood.

The billiard hall was in an area dominated by Shiite Muslims, and most of the dead and wounded were from the minority sect, another police officer said.

The sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility.

Earlier in the day, a bomb targeting paramilitary soldiers in a commercial area in Quetta killed 12 people and wounded more than 40 others, said Shakeel, the senior police officer.

The United Baluch Army, a separatist group, claimed responsibility.

A bomb in a crowded Sunni mosque in the northwest city of Mingora killed 22 people and wounded more than 70, senior police officer Akhtar Hayyat said.

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