At least 15 people, mostly security officials, were killed and over 10 others injured in a bomb blast apparently carried out by a suicide bomber outside a polio vaccination centre in Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta, on Wednesday.

“The blast was apparently carried out by a suicide bomber,” Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti told media after the blast.

The deceased include 12 policemen, one paramilitary officer and two civilians, a police official said.

Eyewitnesses at the site said they heard firing after a loud blast rocked the area.

The victims have been shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta, where an emergency has been imposed, the Dawn reported.

Police and rescue workers reached the site soon after the blast, while security forces have cordoned off the area.

A three-day anti-polio campaign was launched in Quetta and other districts of Balochistan on Monday. The campaign is to target 2.4 million children under the age of five. Over 55,000 children of Afghan refugees are to be immunised under the campaign.

Polio teams were being dispatched from the polio centre targeted in the blast, security sources said.

Pakistan remains one of only two countries on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of polio-endemic countries. (The Hindu)