At least four people were killed and 16 others wounded in a bomb blast targeting a public gathering in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Thursday evening, an official confirmed.

“A bomb (IED – Improvised Explosive Device) exploded at the main gate of Science College Ground Quetta City, where participants of a public meeting were dispersing from the ground when the blast occurred at the main gate,” said the Counter-Terrorism Department spokesman in a statement.

The injured were shifted to a civil hospital in Quetta, while the security forces and police have cordoned off the area and launched a search operation, it added.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The province is a key route of the $64-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor project, which aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to the Gwadar port in southern Pakistan, through a network of roads, railways, and pipelines to transport cargo, oil, and gas.

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