In the first incident of its nature, miscreants attacked a military convoy with a remote-controlled device on Saryab Road in Quetta, killing one soldier and injuring 13 others, among them six civilians, on Sunday, official sources said. The injured also included Quetta’s Assistant Commissioner Abdul Quddus Mengal.
“The Army convoy was the target which passed by on the main Saryab road,” an official told The Express Tribune. Four vehicles were damaged in the blast, he added.
Miscreants had parked an explosives-laden car along Saryab Road near the Polytechnic Girls College and detonated it when the Army convoy – comprising four vehicles – passed by, official sources said. As a result 14 people, among them eight soldiers, were wounded.
The injured were rushed to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and the Sandman Hospital Quetta for treatment. One of them, identified as Army soldier Deedar Ali, expired before reaching the hospital.
“Around 20 kilos of explosives were used in the blast,” an official of the Bomb Disposal Squad told The Express Tribune. The explosion turned the car in which the explosives were planted into a heap of mangled mettle. Windowpanes of buildings located nearby were shattered by the thud of the blast.
Police and paramilitary Frontier Corps threw a security cordon around the area following the attack while experts sifted through the debris for vital forensic evidence.
The military said that the Army convoy was on its way to Sibi, some 160 kilometres from the provincial capital. “It is the first incident of its kind in which a military convey has been attacked with a remote-controlled device in Quetta city,” army spokesperson Colonel Khalid told The Express Tribune. He also confirmed that seven army soldiers were injured in the attack.
Medics at the Sandemann Hospital said that seven injured were discharged after first aid, while one of them has been admitted to the hospital for treatment of his critical wounds.
SP Saryab Shahnawaz Khan refused to comment on the incident, saying that investigations were ongoing. Police have found the chassis number of the car used in the blast. The Saryab police have registered a case under the Explosive Substances Act.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2010.