QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bomber attacked a funeral for a policeman in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing 23 people, including a senior police officer, and wounding over 60, police said.
The funeral was being held in an open field in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. The somber ceremony was for a policeman who was gunned down earlier in the day as he traveled through the city in a vehicle with his children, said city police chief Mir Zubair Mehmood. Two of his children were wounded in the attack.
Most of the 23 dead and over 60 wounded in the suicide bombing were police officers, said police official Mohammed Aslam. Among those killed was the head of police operations in Baluchistan, Fayaz Sumbal, said Mehmood.
Sumbal spotted the suicide bomber before he detonated his explosives and asked police officers to quickly search him, said Aslam. As officers began to question the bomber, he blew himself up.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion will likely fall on Islamic militants based in the province.
Baluchistan is also home to separatists who have been waging a low-level insurgency against the governments for decades, but they rarely carry out suicide bombings.
Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed contributed to this report from Islamabad.