23 pilgrims killed in Taftan bombing

Published: June 9, 2014

Jaishul Islam militant group claims responsibility for the suicide attack that also left several people injured .

QUETTA: Nearly two dozen people were killed and many more injured in a suicide attack on a hotel hosting Shia pilgrims in Taftan, a district on the border with Iran, late Sunday night. Officials fear the death toll could rise as some of the injured are in critical condition.

A suicide bomber entered Al Murtaza Hotel and detonated the explosives strapped to his body in the midst of Shia pilgrims, security sources told The Express Tribune. The blast caused significant damage to the building.

Other sources claimed that two suicide bombers entered Al Murtaza and Al Hashmi hotels where around 300 Shia pilgrims were staying. However, one of them could not detonate the charge.

According to Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani, the pilgrims had returned after pilgrimage of sacred shrines in neighbouring Iran. “They were waiting for transport in the two hotels when the bomber struck,” he added. Sources said the pilgrims belonged to different parts of the country, including Kurram Agency.

Levies officials confirmed that 23 people were killed and many more injured. However, Edhi sources put the number of fatalities at 35.

Levies and Frontier Corps personnel swung into action and reached the spot while the attack was still under way. They engaged the attackers in a gunfight. The militants lobbed hand grenades and fired sophisticated weapons at the

Levies and FC personnel.

FC spokesperson Khan Wasey claimed in a statement that one of the bombers was killed by the paramilitary troops. The casualties were ferried to a local hospital from where they were later airlifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Quetta.

Sources added that intelligence agencies had warned of possible attacks on pilgrims one month ago, but the authorities failed to put in place adequate security to thwart Sunday’s attack.

A banned outfit Jaish-ul-Islam claimed responsibility for the attack. A purported spokesman for the group, Azam Tariq, called Quetta-based journalists from an undisclosed location to claim credit for the deadly attack.

The Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, Hazara Democratic Party, Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqa-e-Jaferia and Tahaffuz-e-Azadari Council condemned the attack and called it failure of the government. Their leaders said that the government has failed to provide security to the pilgrims going to Iran.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2014.

Reader Comments (7)

  • Hozur
    Jun 9, 2014 - 7:21AM

    Even Muslims are not safe in the land any longer and they are eliminated because they have different point of view.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar
    Jun 9, 2014 - 8:39AM

    Do we continue negotiations with terrorists?

    Recommend

  • Jun 9, 2014 - 9:30AM

    Inna Lillahe WA Inna Ilaihe Rajeoon. Ameen.
    My heartfelt condolences to the families of the innocent and departed.
    This is a dastardly attack on pilgrims be they of any religion, caste, complexion, race, or nationality. Only the perpetrators of this cold blooded murder know who bribed them to commit this disgusting crime. They will never have a peaceful conscience and when they leave terra firma, who knows what? Salams

    Recommend

  • Jun 9, 2014 - 11:32AM

    @the Skunk:

    Only the perpetrators of this cold blooded murder know who bribed them to commit this disgusting crime.

    They don’t have to be bribed…this violence against minorities and other Pakistanis are their ideology, their political aim derived from literal religious beliefs.

    Recommend

  • Hari Om
    Jun 9, 2014 - 11:37AM

    For a country namely Pakistan that is claimed to have been founded to provide a safe haven for the Muslims of the Indian Sub-Continent, 2090 plus and still rising cases over the past five years of Muslim killing Muslim over nothing more than petty differences in interpretation of the Muslim religion, is simply staggering. Indeed I can think of no other parallel case of similar magnitude where Buddhist kills Buddhist or Christian kills Christian or Hindu kills Hindu or Jews kill Jews over petty differences in interpretation of their respective Religions anywhere in the world over the past five years.

    What is particularly ironic is that Pakistan’s founder Mr. M.A. Jinnah would have risked life and limb for following the practices of his original Shia sect of Islam in today’s Pakistan.

    Next I wait to hear the oft repeated statement that there is no such thing as intra Muslim sectarian killings in Pakistan as it is inconceivable that a Muslim can kill another Muslim as Islam is the Religion of Peace where even killing one person is considered as killing all humanity making instances like these killings, in Pakistani minds, a perpetrated act to malign Islam and Pakistan.Recommend

  • pakistani
    Jun 9, 2014 - 7:20PM

    killing of shias is now being accepted by this society of the “Islamic” republic of Pakistan. just see, how much coverage was given to Khi airport and compare it with this incident that had such a huge loss of precious & innocent lives!

    Recommend

  • peace
    Jun 10, 2014 - 10:21AM

    It is true that no true Muslim can kill any human ( Muslim or non Muslim)….but these extremists follow no religion.
    http://Www.alislam.org

    Recommend

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