QUETTA: Three people were killed and six others suffered multiple injuries in a blast at provincial finance minister Mir Asim Kurd’s residence in Quetta on Thursday. The nature of the explosion is not yet clear.
The PML-Q leader left for the Civil Secretariat at 12:30 pm, soon after the blast occurred inside his house, killing two security guards and injuring seven others.
A vehicle parked inside the house was completely damaged in the blast and windowpanes of houses and nearby building were smashed by its impact.
The bodies and injured were rushed to the provincial Sandeman hospital. Two of the dead were identified as the minister’s security guards, while another is said to be his personal employee.
“I was on my way to the office when someone informed me about the blast,” said Asim Kurd, adding that he did not receive any threat from any organisation. “I am an inhabitant of Balochistan and used to such situations so I am not scared of any blast,” he said. Kurd added that investigations have started.
According to some witnesses, when the gate of the house opened to allow a water tanker to enter, a suicide bomber entered the house and blew himself up. “We were sitting in the guest room when a huge blast took place,” said a security guard Saeed Ahmed. I don’t know whether it was a suicide attack or not because as soon as the water tanker entered, the blast occurred,” he said.
“It was suicide blast and we have collected evidence and sent the reports to the provincial government. The limbs of the bomber have been collected from the crime scene and around 15 kilogrammes of explosive material was used in the blast,” an official of the Bomb Disposal Squad told journalists. Provincial Minister Communications and Works, Mir Sadiq Umrani was also of the view that it was a suicide attack and possibly a reaction to the tough statement made by Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani, however, said that it was not a suicide attack. He added that a miscreant had placed explosive material in a vehicle parked inside the minister’s house. “The vehicle has been parked there for the past 20 days,” he said.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani has strongly condemned the attack on the residence of the provincial minister and said Kurd was targeted.
The minister was of the view that the attack was not in reaction to Rehman Malik’s statement. He added that the provincial government had already recorded its protest in response to the interior minister’s statement of transferring all police powers to the Frontier Corps. “I did not agree with Rehman Malik during the meeting. I told him that I will make a draft proposal, send it to him and the federal government and then a decision will be made,” he said. “If the police are present here then why should I transfer the policing powers to the Frontier Corps?” Raisani said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2010.