–19 people injured as terror wave continues in restive Balochistan
QUETTA: At least three people were killed and 20 injured in an explosion inside a mosque in the Pashtoonabad area on Friday.
The injured are shifted to nearby Civil Hospital Quetta, while two of them were in a critical position.
According to Quetta Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Abdul Razzaq Cheema, the attack was carried out through an improvised explosive device (IED) ahead of Friday prayers when 30 to 40 people were present inside the mosque.
There has been no claim of responsibility as of yet.
Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed grief over the tragic loss of precious lives and sought a report from the authorities concerned. He also directed the authorities to provide the wounded with the best possible medical facilities.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan also condemned the incident and expressed grief over the deaths and multiple injuries caused by the explosion.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also condemned the attack.
“The person who attacks the house of God on a Friday in the month of Ramzan cannot be a Muslim,” he said, adding that the continuous rise in terrorist incidents was extremely worrisome.
PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari also issued a condemnation and stressed the need for “eliminating the nurseries that nurture extremist ideologies”.
“Those who spill the blood of humans are unforgivable,” he said and urged the government to provide protection to the people. He extended his sympathies to the families of the victims.
Balochistan —long been plagued by an insurgency and targetted killings – is reeling under a fresh wave of terrorism, as Baloch insurgents and other religious outfits have ratcheted up attacks in the restive province, targetting LEAs and minority Shias, respectively.
In May alone, the province faced at least five terror attacks, including an attack on non-native labourers working in Dera Murad Jamali.
On May 9 –the same day a blast had rocked Lahore— three people, including a tribal elder, were killed in Qila Abdullah blast.
On May 10, two miners and three Frontier Corps personnel were killed in an attack and a subsequent landmine blast in the Khost area of Harnai district.
On May 11, militants belonging to the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) stormed a five-star hotel in Gwadar, leaving five people, including a navy soldier, dead. The operation to clear the hotel took one day. The attack was targeted at Chinese investors allegedly present at the hotel.
On May 13, at least four policemen were killed and several others wounded after a bomb attack targeted their vehicles while they stood guard outside a mosque in Quetta.
On May 14, three labourers, reportedly from Sindh province, were killed in a targeted attack. No one claimed responsibility for the attacked.
In April, the province fared no better either, with two major blasts targeting law enforcers and minority Hazara community separately.
On April 12, at least 20 people were killed and 48 wounded by a powerful suicide blast apparently targeting the Hazara community at a crowded fruit market in Quetta.
A faction of the Taliban claimed the attack. The group said it collaborated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has been behind numerous bloody attacks in Pakistan. There was no immediate confirmation from LeJ.
On the same day, two civilians were killed and 10 injured in the evening as an improvised explosive device (IED) had gone off when FC vehicle was passing through a market.
On April 18, at least 14 people were killed in an ambush on several buses travelling between Karachi and Gwadar in the remote Ormara area of Balochistan province on Thursday.
The attack which left at least 9 Pakistan Navy men dead after being identified through IDs was claimed by Baloch insurgents.