- Associated Press - Thursday, January 10, 2013

QUETTA, Pakistan — A series of bombings in different parts of Pakistan killed 115 people on Thursday, 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 the Taliban in the northwest and Baluch militants in the southwest.

The country is also home to many enemies of the United States that Washington has targeted with drone attacks.

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, senior police officer Zubair Mehmood said.

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

Many of the people who rushed to the scene after the first blast were hit by the second bomb, which caused the roof of the building to collapse, he said.

Police officers, journalists and rescue workers who responded to the initial explosion were among the dead.

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

One of the group’s spokesmen said the first blast was carried out by a suicide bomber and the second was a bomb planted in a car and detonated by remote control.

Earlier in the day, a bomb targeting paramilitary soldiers in a commercial area in Quetta killed 12 and wounded more than 40, a police official said.

The United Baluch Army, a separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A bomb in a crowded Sunni mosque in the northwest city of Mingora killed 22 people and wounded more than 70, a police official said. No group claimed responsibility.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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