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Bomb blast in Pakistan market kills 18, half of them ethnic Hazaras

Bomb blast in Pakistan market kills 18, half of them ethnic Hazaras

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but outlawed Sunni extremist groups have claimed similar attacks in the past.

The group said that it collaborated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has been behind numerous bloody attacks on Shiite Muslims in Pakistan.

Family members of the blast victims comfort each other outside a mortuary in Quetta, Pakistan.

The attack came after a lull in violence against the mainly Shi'ite Hazara minority in Baluchistan lasting at least a year, though there have been isolated shootings.

The Hazara, whose Central Asian features make them easily recognizable, are a soft target for Sunni militants, who consider them heretics.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast. Four paramilitary troops guarding the market were among the 40 wounded.

He also requested the people of Hazara community to end their sit-in at the Western Bypass area.

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At least 13 people were killed and and 30 injured when a bomb exploded at a fruit market in Quetta.

"These incidents should not be labelled as sectarian as the enemy is involved in it", Malik said.

At least eight Hazara community members were among 19 people killed in a suicide attack in Pakistan 's southwestern Balochistan province. Rescue teams, police reached the site of the blast. rescue operation is underway.

Quetta has always been beset with sectarian violence that has claimed more than 2,000 lives over the last decade, according to local media.

"Each time, there are promises that more will be done to protect them, and each time those promises have failed to materialise", wrote Omar Waraich, Amnesty's deputy director for South Asia.

The capital of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, it is also the home of several secessionist groups, more than a few of whom are also Islamist factions that also target the Shi'ite minority.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi issued statements condemning the attack and adding that it would not weaken "the resolve of the nation in the fight against terrorism".