Police: Car bomb kills 5 in southwest Pakistan

By ABDUL SATTAR | August 31, 2011 | 2:35 AM EDT

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A car bomb exploded in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday as hundreds of worshippers were heading home after morning prayers marking the beginning of an Islamic holiday. The blast killed at least five people, police said.

The attack occurred in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, which is home to both Taliban militants and nationalists who have waged a decades-long insurgency against the Pakistani government. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The blast also wounded at least 15 people, damaged 10 vehicles and several nearby buildings, said Abdul Jamil, a police officer in Quetta.

The attack was a somber beginning to Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday that comes at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. In Pakistan, the three-day holiday started Wednesday while in many other parts of the Muslim world it began on Tuesday.

Baluchistan has experienced frequent bombings in recent years, many at the hands of nationalists who demand a greater share of the province's natural resources. Baluchistan is also believed to be home to many senior Taliban commanders, including leader Mullah Omar.


Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed contributed to this report from Islamabad.