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Pakistan: Deadly blasts kill 81 Shi'as in Quetta


At least 81 people have been killed after two bombs went off minutes apart at a billiards hall in southwest Pakistan. Hours earlier, a separate blast left 11 people dead.

The bomb hit late Thursday night in a Shiite Muslim neighborhood in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, police officer Mohammad Murtaza said. Over 100 people were left wounded.

It was one of the worst single attacks ever on Shiite Muslims, who account for around 20 percent of Pakistan's population.

After the first bomb exploded police, media workers and rescue teams rushed to the site. Ten minutes later, another bomb went off. Both attacks appear to have been carried out by suicide bombers.

Pakistan's SAMAA TV channel says one of its cameramen was killed by the second bomb after he went to cover the first explosion.

Murtaza said many people were killed when the second bomb caused the building to collapse.

Police said the bombings disrupted power supplies, plunging the area into darkness. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Separate blast kills 11

Earlier in the day, a bomb went off at a market in Quetta. The explosion left 11 people dead.

Local militant group the United Baloch Army claimed responsibility for the bombing, which wounded at least 27 people. The United Baloch Army is one of several groups fighting for independence in the province of eight million, which constitutes just under half of Pakistan's territory.

dr, ccp/jr (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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