QUETTA: At least five people have been killed after a loud explosion rocked a seminary located in Kuchlak area on the outskirts of Quetta on Friday.
According to police sources, more than 20 people have been wounded in the blast, which took place after Friday prayers. They have been shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta.
The imam of the mosque connected to the seminary, located 25km from the city of Quetta, was killed in the explosion, police said.
“The blast was carried out through a timed device that was planted under the wooden chair of the prayer leader,” said Quetta police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.
“The death toll could increase as some of the victims were seriously injured,” said another police official, Shafqat Janjua.
This is the fourth explosion that has taken place in Quetta over the past four weeks. On July 23, at least three people were killed and 18 were injured in a bomb attack in Quetta’s Eastern Bypass area.
On July 30, another attack took place near a police station in which five people were killed and 30 others were injured. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for that blast.
Last week, an explosion in Quetta’s Mission Road area killed one person and injured 10 others.
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.