A bomb attack in a Pakistan market killed at least 65 people and wounded 200 more on Saturday, according to officials.
The market was located in a mostly Shiite neighborhood in southwest Pakistan. Many of those wounded in the explosion remained in critical condition.
Police say that the blast targeted the country’s minority Shiite Muslim population, reports ABC News. Several people were still buried in rubble from the blast, though authorities are not sure how many.
The blast is not the first to take place in the city of Quetta. Another series of bombings took place earlier this year and killed 86 people. The resulting protests toppled the local government.
Zubair Mahmood, Quetta’s police chief, stated that the bomb was hidden inside a water tank. It was towed into the market by a tractor. The bomb attack destroyed shops and caused a two-story building to collapse. It is believed that many of the victims were buried when the building collapsed.
Al Jazeera notes that Haider Changezi, a Shia activist in Pakistan stated, “Rescuers and volunteers are hesitant to go near the blast site for fear of another explosion.”
The entire area of the bomb attack has been cordoned off y security officials. Banned pro-Sunni sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. The group also claimed responsibility for the bombings earlier this year.
Police officer Samiullah Khan stated that the bomb attack occurred as many women and children were buying produce from the market for their evening meal. The victims were taken to three different area hospitals. Footage of the scene showed the streets littered with rubble, fruits, vegetables, and shattered street carts.
Members of the Shiite community took to the streets to express their outrage for the produce market bombing.