At least four people — including two police personnel — were killed and 18 others sustained injuries in a blast near a police vehicle parked next to Qandhari Bazar on Shahrah-i-Iqbal in Quetta on Monday, police and hospital officials said.
Quetta Civil Hospital spokesperson Dr Wasim Baig confirmed the number of victims to Dawn.com, saying that the deceased also included a minor girl.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Captain (retd) Zohaib Mohsin, the target of the blast was a police vehicle.
“The explosives were planted in a motorcycle,” he said, adding that the injured also included women and children.
“According to initial information, three to four kilos of explosives were used in the blast,” the police official said. “Due to the blast, two vehicles, including the police van, were damaged.”
TV footage showed a damaged police automobile surrounded by a number of personnel. Several ambulances were also seen leaving the site of the explosion.
Separately, the SSP said there was another attack on the police as Sariab Station House Officer Ehsanullah Marwat’s vehicle was targeted at Munir Mengal Road near Sariab Phatak.
He said two passers-by were injured in the blast from an improvised explosive device and were taken to Civil Hospital for treatment. The SSP added that the bomb disposal squad and a heavy police contingent reached the scene and were collecting evidence.
A day earlier, two cops were martyred and one was injured in an attack by unknown assailants in the Killi Spine area of the Kuchlak district.
The policemen, who belonged to the Eagle Squad, were patrolling on a motorcycle when the assailants opened indiscriminate fire, leaving three injured. Quetta DIG Ghulam Azfar Maheser had confirmed that the cops were targeted by terrorists.
According to the Associated Press of Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the incident and prayed for the deceased while extending his condolences to their families.
He directed officials to provide medical facilities to the injured and sought a report about the attack from the authorities.
The prime minister said the “nefarious designs” of the terrorists would be foiled.
Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo also strongly condemned the blast and expressed his grief over the loss of lives.
The chief minister sought a report from the inspector general of police on the incident and security measures in the city.
“Those who shed the blood of innocent people in the holy month of Ramazan do not deserve to be called human beings,” he said and directed the concerned department that action should be taken against terrorist elements and their patrons.
“The security measures in the city should be made more effective in order to ensure the protection of public lives and their properties,” he said.
The chief minister extended his condolences and sympathies to the families of the deceased.
Bizenjo directed that the best treatment facilities be provided to the injured by imposing an emergency in the hospitals.
Balochistan Governor Malik Abdul Wali Khan Kakar too directed the health department to provide medical facilities to the victims and instructed the law enforcement agencies to utilise all available resources to arrest the culprits involved.
He also prayed for the forgiveness of the deceased and for the speedy recovery of the injured.__Dawn.com