Islamabad: The death toll in a devastating suicide attack in Quetta city of southwestern Pakistan rose to seven on Monday.
    
The bomber detonated his explosives-laden pick-up truck near the official residence of Balochistan Police Chief Mushtaq Sukhera in a high-security area of Quetta on Sunday night. Sukhera, who was returning home from work, escaped unhurt.
    
Four policemen were among the dead. About 70 people, including 27 policemen, were injured by the powerful blast that created a crater 12 feet deep and seven feet wide.
    
Buildings within a radius of 1.5 km, including the Governor House, Chief Minister's House, Quetta Press Club and dozens of shops on Jinnah Road were damaged by the blast. The provincial police chief's residence was extensively damaged and several cars were destroyed.
    
The windows of offices of several media organizations were blown out. The blast also hit members of a political party who were returning from a protest. Police officials said an estimated 2,000 kg of explosives were used in the attack, for which no group claimed responsibility.
    
The police officials said the bomber had followed the police chief's motorcade when he returned home from work. Some reports said the suicide attack was followed by intense firing. It could not be ascertained who had opened fire.
    
TV news channels reported that several rockets were fired at different parts of Quetta before the suicide attack. The attack came a day after Pakistan's general elections. A string of gun and bomb attacks during and after the polling claimed nearly 50 lives.

(Agencies)

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