Five killed in Quetta blast
QUETTA: Five students were killed while 70 others sustained critical injuries when a powerful bomb explosion targeted an IT university bus near the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) office in the Jinnah Town on Monday.
“We are investigating the incident from different angles, and it seems that the blast near the IT university bus was a suicide attack,” said CCPO Quetta Mir Zubair.Hospital sources warned that the death toll could rise as many of the injured were in critical condition. A state of emergency was declared in all the major hospitals of provincial capital in the wake of the blast.
Police officials said the bus was picking up university students as usual and reached Jinnah Town when it was targeted by a remote-controlled blast. The explosives were fixed inside a car parked along the road; the resulting blast was so powerful that the bus and nearby buildings were badly damaged while all the students on board sustained multiple injuries. One of the students recounted, “As the driver reduced the speed upon entering the Jinnah Town, there was a loud bang followed by billowing smoke, and we were hit by splinters.”
The blast took place at around 8:15am. “Over 40-50 kilograms of high power explosives were used in the blast and detonated through a remote-controlled device,” said members of the bomb disposal squad. The blast also created a crater that was two-foot-wide. The injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital, CMH and Bolan Medical Complex. Following the explosion, police officials and members of the Frontier Corps (FC) reached the spot and cordoned off the area.
Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfikar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani issued separate messages on Monday to express deep grief over the deaths of innocent students.
Meanwhile, politico-nationalist groups, including the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party, strongly condemned the explosion and demanded that the government play its role in maintaining law and order situation in the province. Office-bearers of the Hazara Students Federation (HSF) and Pashtoon Students Organisation (PSO) staged separate protest demonstrations against Monday’s explosion, and demanded that the government provide effective security to students or else step down.
Meanwhile, two persons were injured when another bomb exploded along the Saryab Road. Police disclosed that the explosives were attached to a bicycle. The injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital for treatment.
APP adds: Following the Monday’s blast, hospital sources told APP that the dead were identified as Irfan, Aqil Raza, Shahid, Abdul Hadi and Farooq.
The injured include Muhammad Ali, Khudaay Raheem, Umar, Chaman Ali, Rehmatullah, Shahab Ali, Muhammad Baseer, Muhammad Abid, Muhammad Ameen, Muhammad Ibrahim, Waqar Hussain, Muhammad Munir, Adil Ahmed, Zakir Hussain, Muhammad Yasin, Naimatullah, Imam Din, Amir Muhammad, Yasir Hussain, Mehar Ali, Irfan Ail, Muhammad Aslam, Riaz Ali, Shujaat Hussain, Samina Bibi, Zulfiqar, Asim, Muhammad Nabi, Asma Batool, Rabia Bibi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ramzana Bibi, Ahmed Khan, Hamal Khan, Muhammad Ajmal, Muhammad Akmal, Fatima Bibi, Mumtaz Hussain, Waqar Hussain, Fatima, Kaka, Shafqatullah, Mehar, Arsalan, Haroon, Manno Jan, Arif, Saood, Abdullah, Asif, Najibullah, Jalil Ahmed, Safdar Rehman, Mukhtar, Adnan, Kainat, Abdul Razzaq, Navid Shah and Akmal Shah. The police, while quoting preliminary investigation reports, disclosed that most of the victims belonged to the Hazara community