“It was a roadside bomb which targeted the bus,” Deputy Commissioner Irfan Shah said. He added that Levies officials present at the scene confirmed the death of three pilgrims.
“The bus caught fire after the blast,” he said, adding that initial reports said “at least two people were killed and about a dozen wounded”.
The injured, including Levies officials, children and women, some of them in serious condition, were driven to the Bolan Medical College Teaching Hospital in Quetta, according to officials.
Officials said the bus with up to 40 pilgrims on board was returning from Iran. Sources added that parts of another car were found near the site, but there was no official confirmation as to whether the nature of the attack was different from the one being stated by officials.
However, Shah and other rescue officials ruled out the possibility of a suicide attack, saying there was no indication that a suicide bomber was on board.
Witnesses claimed that five people were killed while 13 others injured.
Firefighters arrived at the location to extinguish the fire on the bus. However, Levies official Ghulam Qadir, who was present at the scene, claimed that fire tenders reached the location more than 90 minutes after the deadly incident.
The bus was being escorted by Levies officials in two separate vehicles. The front escort vehicle was also hit by the blast.
The district administration launched an investigation into the assault, with no group claiming responsibility for the attack till the filing of this report.