Day 1: Quetta– Eid congregation attacked

Published: September 3, 2011

Local residents try to extinguish fire in a car after the Eid day blast in the parking lot that resulted in the killings. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: 

His target was the congregation of 25,000 people at the Eidgah in Marriabad – a Shia-populated locality in Quetta – in order to ensure maximum casualties. However, being unable to reach his intended victims, the suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car on Wednesday near the place of worship, killing at least 12 people, including two women and two children, and wounding 32 others.

In what appeared to be an incident of sectarian violence, the bomber struck a parking lot near a mosque on Shaheed Major Mohammad Ali Road right after Eidul Fitr prayers.

Claiming responsibility for the brutal attack, a spokesperson of the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), who introduced himself as Ali Sher Haideri, contacted different media offices from an undisclosed location and confirmed that his organisation was responsible for the incident. “LeJ will continue to target people from the Shia community,” he said.

The blast was so powerful that more than ten cars caught fire and the roofs of two houses collapsed. Ten people died on the spot, while 34 people received injuries, two of whom succumbed to their wounds on Thursday, taking the original death toll to 12.

Firefighters and rescue workers rushed to the spot soon after the incident and shifted the bodies and the injured to Provincial Sandeman Hospital and Combined Military Hospital (CMH) where a state of emergency had been declared.

All those who lost their lives belonged to the Shia community, police officials said.

“Over 60 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the attack and the police managed to recover the head and hands of the suicide bomber,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG-Investigations) Nazir Kurd told The Express Tribune. Samples will be sent for a DNA test to determine the bomber’s identity.

“We had deputed community guards near the mosque. They intercepted the suicide bomber near the parking lot where he detonated the explosives,” said Ghulam Hussain, a spokesperson of the Wahadatul Muslimeen. “There would have been hundreds of deaths had the bomber managed to reach the congregation.”

The Eidgah can accommodate 35,000 people, and at the time of the attack, there were around 25,000 people who had gathered there for Eid prayers.

Believing that attacks on their community have become widespread, Shia people now deploy members of their own sect to provide security for gatherings and processions.

Funeral prayers for the 12 people killed were offered at the Hazara graveyard where they were laid to rest. An FIR has been registered at the Quaidabad Police Station under the anti-terrorism and explosive acts on behalf of the state. No arrests have been made so far.

Condemning the attack, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has directed the constitution of two committees to investigate the incident.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Sep 3, 2011 - 1:55PM

    its very bad to say that they are Muslim.They never were Muslims and never will be.They don’t know the Humanity.They don,t know The Allah and His Prophet Muhammad(S.A.W).If they know then they don,t do this to kill or target men and Huminity.Recommend

  • Patriot
    Sep 3, 2011 - 2:59PM

    A classic case of a militant organization no longer under control of its masters. A total failure of the provincial and federal administrations as well as the armed forces for they cannot protect their own citizens against non-state actors. The resurgence of LeJ will only further tarnish our country’s already terrible image. The story of strategic assets for strategic depth continues. Wonder how the ISI looks at this???Recommend

  • Jabbar
    Sep 3, 2011 - 5:21PM

    So do you think we should still feel obliged for Saudi-American aid for such killings in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Ali Mardan
    Sep 4, 2011 - 8:43AM

    “Police managed to recover the head and hands of the suicide bomber” ridiculous, what else they can do? none. Shame on the performance of Provincial government and its law enforcing agencies. Hundreds of innocent members of Hazara Shia community have been brutally targeted only this year. How many target killers and their masterminds have been apprehended? ……. none. I wonder for what purpose they are get paid, only to provide security only to the corrupt govt ministers who are sucking blood of poor people of this country? No one cares for this large scale massacre of innocent citizens. Perhaps, our so-called Government authorities have forgot that they also have to die some day will be answerable for their deeds before his Creator.

    Recommend

  • Big Bad Wolf
    Sep 4, 2011 - 10:30AM

    Pakistan has been infiltrated by paid mercenaries supported and funded by foreign hand to cause mahem and bloodshed and that it has caught Pakistan defenseless and flatfooted that they cannot stop this mahem and neither can they catch the killers and bust this operation once and for all and expose them to the public. Recommend

  • M. A. Changezi
    Sep 6, 2011 - 9:48AM

    So how many terrorists have been arrested so far?

    Recommend

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