QUETTA: At least 14 people, including five children, were killed and over 48 sustained injures in a powerful remote-controlled blast outside a religious seminary near Bank Chowk on Saryab Link Road in Quetta on Thursday. Majority of the victims were students of the religious seminary.
“Explosive materials were planted on a bicycle which was parked outside the Jama Islamia Mufat-ul- Elum Madrassa, a religious seminary. The terrorist detonated the explosive materials by a remote control,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG Operations) Qazi Wahid told reporters. Dastar bandi of those students who had memorised the Holy Quran were underway when the blast occurred, he added.
Wahid further said that the death toll would have been higher if the miscreant had taken the bicycle inside the religious seminary. “Police were already deputed in the area where blast took place,” he added.
Hundreds of students were present inside the religious seminary when the blast occurred.
According to the sources, three nephews of General Secretary Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam Senator Maulana Ghafoor Haideri were also injured in the blast.
“The ceremony had ended when the blast took place,” an eyewitness said.
According to the bomb disposable squad, around 5-6 kg explosives were used in the blast. The bicycled was destroyed while three cars and shop were also damaged.
A heavy contingent of Frontier Corps (FC), police and rescue workers rushed to the spot soon after the blast. The deceased and the injured were shifted to the provincial Sandeman Hospital and Bolan Medical Complex Teaching Hospital by private cars and Edhi ambulances.
“Five children were among the dead,” doctor Mohammad Haider at Provincial Sandeman Hospital told the reporters.
The deceased children were identified as six-year-old Faizan, eight-year-old Mohammad Younus, 10-year-old Pir Bakush, Whzakat and Fiza and the other deceased as Haji Inyatullah, Qari Atta-ur-Rehman, Rahatullah, Nazeer Ahmed, Khleemullah, Qari Hussain Ahmed and Muheebullah.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Quetta Mir Zubair confirmed it was a remote controlled blast. “There is a law and order problem in Quetta. However, the religious seminaries were not receiving any threats,” he said and adding that despite the limited resources, police are performing their duties to ensure peace.
Governor of Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani condemned the blast and asked concerned authorities to probe the incident and bring the culprits to book. The investigators were clueless about the explosions.
“It would not be substantial to comment on this fatal incident,” a senior police officer said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack till the filing of this report.