A bomb attached to a bicycle exploded outside a seminary in south-western Pakistan today, killing at least nine people, police said.
More than 30 people were wounded in the attack in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, senior police officer Anwer Kakar said.
At the time the bomb went off, hundreds of students, teachers and parents were inside the Jamia Islamia Maftah-ul-Uloom seminary for a ceremony giving out certificates to students who had completed their basic religious education, Mr Kakar said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. Mr Kakar said the dead and wounded had been transported to a hospital, where some of the injured were in critical condition.
Baluchistan borders Afghanistan to the west and is believed to be a hiding place for Taliban and Pakistani militants. It has also witnessed a decades-long insurgency by renegade tribal elders and nationalists who demand greater autonomy and a large share of the province’s resources like natural gas and oil.
Also, there have been scores of sectarian attacks, which are blamed on Sunni militants with links to the Afghan Taliban who target Shiite Muslims.
In October, gunmen on the outskirts of Quetta stopped two buses and pulled off the passengers.
After singling out the Shiite passengers, they lined them up against the bus and shot them, killing 13 people.