A suicide car bomber attacked worshippers in southwestern Pakistan as they were heading home after morning prayers at the start of an Islamic holiday, killing at least 10 people.

The attack occurred in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, which is home to both Taliban militants and nationalists who have waged a decades-long insurgency against the Pakistani government. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Quetta, Pakistan

The bomber was apparently targeting a Shia mosque but could not get close enough because the road was blocked, said Quetta police chief Ahsan Mahboob.

Instead, he detonated his explosives in a parking lot nearby, Mahboob said.

It is unclear how many of the 10 people killed were Shia worshippers or others who were hit by the blast as they were passing by, said Mahboob. The blast also wounded at least 17 people and damaged nearby vehicles and buildings, he said.

The attack was a sombre beginning to Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday that comes at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. In Pakistan, the three-day holiday started Wednesday while in many other parts of the Muslim world it began on Tuesday.

Baluchistan has experienced frequent bombings in recent years, many at the hands of nationalists who demand a greater share of the province's natural resources. Baluchistan is also believed to be home to many senior Taliban commanders, including leader Mullah Omar.