In Pakistan a powerful explosion

At least 17 people were killed and around 14 injured in a powerful blast targeting a military truck in Pakistan's Quetta on Saturday evening.

The nature of the blast could not immediately be determined but an investigation was underway, Bugti said. An emergency was subsequently declared in the city.

It added that incendiary explosives were used in the blast that sparked fires in nearby vehicles.

Pakistani officials said that troops reached the area soon after the explosion and cordoned off the area.

"We can now confirm the death of 15 people in today's explosion".

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) - A suicide bomber on a motorcycle targeted a military truck Saturday with a bomb killing eight soldiers and seven civilians in the southwestern city of Quetta, an official and the military said.

He said the nation will celebrate Independence Day with full zeal and fervour to honour the sacrifices of the martyred officers, who laid down their lives for peace and sanctity of the country.

The death toll may climb further as numerous wounded victims suffered serious injuries. The wounded were taken to Civil Hospital and Combined Military Hospital.

According to the secretary for home affairs of the province, Sarfraz Bugti, the firemen were still at work in the night to stop the fire.

Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan Armed Forces confirmed that eight security personnel were martyred in the blast.

Militants in past have carried out big attacks on Independence Day and other events of national importance.

The group was already known to have collaborated with local activists of pakistan for other attacks.

No terror group claimed responsibility as it has been for previous such incidents in Balochistan, a province rich in oil and gas resources that borders Iran and Afghanistan.

Vanessa Coleman