Death toll from Taftan bombing rises to 30

Published: June 9, 2014

An injured pilgrim is treated at a hospital in Quetta following an attack in Taftan. PHOTO: AFP

The death toll from last night’s suicide attack on a hotel hosting Shia pilgrims in Taftan rose to 30 on Monday, Express News reported.

Among the 30 people killed in Taftan, 22 have been so far identified as residents of Kohat District  of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Tirah Valley in Orakzai Agency, relatives of the deceased told The Express Tribune.

Speaking from Quetta, Yousuf Bangash, a resident of Kohat, said there were four buses with 210 passengers, who were residing in two hotels, Hashmi Hotel and Syed Murtaza Hotel, when the bombers attacked the pilgrims.

He confirmed that 22 of the deceased had been identified and belonged to Kurram Agency, Orakzai Agency in Fata and district Kohat of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

“This includes nine women and a child,” he said while 16 injured people brought to the combined military hospital 14 women and two men.

He added that the bodies of the deceased were brought to the hospital where the authorities had informed them they would be flown to Kohat.

Khizer, who identified himself as the head of the caravan of pilgrims, said he was lucky to have survived the attack “I cannot say much at the moment,” he said. Khizer along with the bus driver, Layas Khan remained safe in the attacks, but were too shaken up to speak.

The death toll was earlier reported as 23 with many injured but 7 more victims succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.

Tahafuz-e-Azadari Council has announced a three-day mourning period following the attack.

On late Sunday night, a suicide bomber had entered Al Murtaza Hotel in Taftan, a district on the border with Iran, and detonated explosives strapped to his body in the midst of Shia pilgrims, security sources had told The Express Tribune.

Levies and Frontier Corps personnel had engaged the attackers in a gunfight. FC spokesperson Khan Wasey had claimed in a statement that one of the bombers was killed by the paramilitary troops.

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

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

The Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, Hazara Democratic Party, Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqa-e-Jaferia and Tahaffuz-e-Azadari Council had condemned the attack and called it failure of the government.

Following the incident, Iran has closed its border with Pakistan for an indefinite period and security has also been tightened.

“Zero-Point gate on Pak-Iran border in Taftan has been closed by the Iranian officials and all activities pertaining to travelling and trade through the border were suspended,” Deputy Commissioner Chagai, Saifullah Khetran said.

UN denounces attack

United Nations has strongly condemned the suicide attack on Shia pilgrims that killed 25 people in a hotel in Taftan, Balochistan.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • hrsa
    Jun 9, 2014 - 10:28AM

    Why not restrict activities until law and order issue is resolved.

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  • Ammar
    Jun 9, 2014 - 11:15AM

    @hrsa

    Karachi airport has also been attacked today, why not shutdown all the airports in Pakistan until law and order issue is resolved. Grow-up man and bring some valid argument, seriously.

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  • Ghostrider
    Jun 9, 2014 - 11:31AM

    @ali:
    Syria is a political issue not a religious war, and btw dont find excuses for the attack shia genocide in Pakistan dates back to 2 decades back then the arabs were getting whipped by tiny Israel.

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  • Jun 9, 2014 - 11:37AM

    ET, where is my reply to ali? I’m glad Ammar was able to get a quick reply in right after hrsa, though my comment was earlier…

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  • Tolerance
    Jun 9, 2014 - 11:40AM

    Dear Folks,

    Let us close our business and hide into our homes, turn off all the activities. We need to understand banning websites, restricting activities is never the solution. Stand up like a brave nation to counter the challenges. Keep a side the Shii and Sunni difference, Let Allah the Almighty decide who is rightly guided and whose not. Until then let us practice our faiths with ease and independence. We all are answerable only to God.

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  • Anon
    Jun 9, 2014 - 12:05PM

    And unfortunately Pakistan’s main concern is “What will happen to Indian Muslims when Narendra Modi becomes India’s prime-minister.”

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  • abbas khalid
    Jun 9, 2014 - 12:15PM

    @ ali You are right that does justify it does it not. Muslims killing Muslims way to go with friend like these who needs enemies.

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  • Murtaza
    Jun 9, 2014 - 12:22PM

    @ Ali: I think you don’t even know the demographic realities of Syria, there are only 2% shia Muslims 14% Alavi’s and a majority of 65% Sunni Muslims in Syria. The 84% and plus National assembly candidates are Sunni Muslims. And the current election proves that thr peoples like Bashar ul Asad (as he wins with the clear majority of 87% with 67% voters turn-out). We the hypocrites the Black KSA and America wants to destabilise the Syrian regime (this cause inc in hate-rate b/w sunni’s and shia’s globally) Pakistan and arabic world induct about 10K plus so called mujahedeen in Syria…no one knows Y??? Mr. Ali these type of comments not throws a good massage to any one!!!
    Mr. Tribune please filter the comments.
    @ hrsa: the restriction of activities is not the solution dear!! The government have to treat mental DOGS.

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  • hrsa
    Jun 9, 2014 - 12:52PM

    My appologies! I merely meant to say that briefly restrict our activities and then force government to do something about, as we cant see our kids and people die like this. Please take my comments as a positive intention and not otherwise.

    Thanks

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  • imran
    Jun 9, 2014 - 1:18PM

    Islam is a religion of peace but these terrorists are bringing disrepute to Islam by killing the pilgrims.

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  • qbc
    Jun 9, 2014 - 1:53PM

    @ali:

    What about the genocide of sunnis shias christians alawis etc in syria by you and your extreamist brothers you always forget to mention them strange.

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  • Feroz
    Jun 9, 2014 - 2:09PM

    The seeds of hatred once sown can be very toxic. First was hatred of Indians, then hatred for religious minorities, then came hatred for Ahmadi’s, followed by hatred for Yanks and Israel. Now currently hatred for Shias is taking over. This simply cannot stop here and will keep continuing till it reaches you. The purveyors of a certain Ideology and narrative need to take a step back and see the mess they have created. The so called guardians of the country should also critically evaluate their contribution to the mess — be it strategic depth or use of non State actors and terrorism. Was citizens welfare ever a priority for anyone ?

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  • S.Karsaz
    Jun 9, 2014 - 2:12PM

    The only problem with us (Muslims of Pakistan) is that we keep fighting within ourselves. There is no unity whatsoever. Islam is a religion of peace and there is no compulsion. We need to educate our people that fighting and killing on the basis of sects is wrong. I strongly believe that everyone has a right to practice their religion. I hope and pray that our fellow muslims brothers/sisters get the knowledge of practicing their own religion.

    Peace.

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  • Taqi
    Jun 9, 2014 - 2:49PM

    @ali:
    u have lost your senses , kindly consult some good doctor .

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  • Godman
    Jun 9, 2014 - 2:53PM

    @S Karsaz – “Islam is a religion of peace and there is no compulsion.”
    If there is no compulsion why do you have the death penalty for apostasy? Stop lying to yourselves.

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  • Jibran
    Jun 9, 2014 - 4:15PM

    @ali:
    The comments of this individual disgust anyone with moral conscience. Shameful.Recommend

  • Voice Of D.I.Khan
    Jun 9, 2014 - 5:11PM

    Inshallah Shahbaz Sharif will again take the Notice of Yesterday’s attacks, because it’s his hobby and He can not help noticing but no action …!!!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 9, 2014 - 5:18PM

    This tragedy is far more serious and shameful than Karachi Airport incident but majority of media did not take it seriously.

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  • HariOm
    Jun 9, 2014 - 5:40PM

    Founded as a country to provide a safe haven for the Muslims of the Indian Sub-Continent, Pakistan has seen 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.

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  • Khan
    Jun 9, 2014 - 5:40PM

    @Godman:

    Since when is Pakistan Penal Code a religion? There is no penalty for apostasy since the religion says to seek forgiveness … lets not interpret religion by what illiterate individuals do ..

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  • Khan
    Jun 9, 2014 - 5:43PM

    @ali:
    I feel pity for you after reading some of your comments yesterday and today .. and more so feel pity for this country which produces such individuals in a large quantity due to lack of quality education.
    Regardless of how you want to justify such acts on the name of religion .. the same religion prohibits such acts even if some one has set a precedence hundred of years ago.

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  • Hamzah
    Jun 9, 2014 - 6:04PM

    @ali: This Lunatic need to blame Saudi Arabia for there radical religious movement or offshoot branch of Islam they are destroying our Beautiful country Pakistan in the name of Islam. Shame on this guy.

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  • Syed
    Jun 9, 2014 - 6:19PM

    No matter what else is going on in our country at any time, one thing is constant that the Shia killings must go on. It doesn’t matter if its in Balochistan, Karachi or other parts of the country. Sometimes the numbers are huge and sometimes its few killings but not sure if there is a day where a Shia hasn’t been targeted or killed.

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  • shabib
    Jun 9, 2014 - 6:47PM

    @ali and all those who think iran is killing sunnis in Syria
    Please kept that away from that issue even if you think that iran is doing such thing (which is actually a foolish thought)
    Why Pakistani Shia Muslims are being killed on aim of Saudis and Americans from almost 2.5 decades.????

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  • Pakistani
    Jun 9, 2014 - 7:55PM

    Sir Imran Khan please negotiate.

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  • A
    Jun 9, 2014 - 9:03PM

    Its a matter of big shame that daily people are killed in Pakistan in the name of religion. But nobody bothers until fire reached their home. When will we stand as a nation. When our pains and sorrows will be one?

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  • Jun 9, 2014 - 9:17PM

    Coward terrorists strike again in Baluchistan. It is sad that these Al-Qaeda aligned Jaishul Islam terrorists killed 30 innocent pilgrims in two separate suicide attacks. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of the dead and we hope and pray for fast and complete recovery of those injured. We feel your pain and stand with you in these difficult times. The enemies of peace are actively seeking to cause mayhem and destabilize the region. We are sure the resolve for peace is greater than the will of the terrorists and surely we will see peace prevailing in near time. Our common enemies, who are trying to destabilize the region, will never succeed. Their only option is to give up the policy of violence and join the main stream to stabilize the region or get neutralized just like we saw at the Karachi Airport attacks today.

    Abdul Quddus
    DET-United States Central Command

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  • Aftab
    Jun 9, 2014 - 10:18PM

    Great comments by all, which clearly show majority of Pakistanis respect religion. However, there are terrorists supported by leading parties who keep attacking all places.

    ET: I know you will not allow my comments to be posted as I have experienced with dozens of comments over last few months. But I will keep trying with the hope that one day you will come out of the fear that last attack created for you.

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  • qbc
    Jun 9, 2014 - 10:20PM

    @Jibran:

    This person spouts his hatred in many different forums and comment sections.

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  • ravi
    Jun 9, 2014 - 10:59PM

    The attack on airport, followed by killing of shia pilgrims, leaves outsiders confused, as to what is actually what is Pakistan and its citizens trying to achieve.

    Pray god to bring semblance and peace

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  • Adnan
    Jun 9, 2014 - 11:11PM

    Numaish Chowrangi soon closed again.

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  • Gp65
    Jun 9, 2014 - 11:45PM

    It is amazing that people in Pakistan are more concerned about Gujarat riots that haopened 12 years back where those responsile have already been convicted while ignoring ongoing Pakistani Shia killings – where no one is held acccountable.

    @Tolerance:
    Does your tolerance extend to Ahmadis? Christians? Hindus?

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  • Np
    Jun 9, 2014 - 11:50PM

    @S.Karsaz:
    If there is no compulsion in Islam, why is apostacy punishable? Why is violence against kafir justifiable?

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  • um
    Jun 10, 2014 - 12:04AM

    @Gp65:
    what you fail to understand is the general population in Pakistan condemns acts of violence against shias. It is unIsmaic and barbric. Furthermore Shias hold high posts in the government, they are not restiricted in their education in the bigger cities and can buy property anywhere etc. Same cannot be said about muslims in India where they cannot buy property in Mumbai. Where their killers are elected as PM of the country. You should realize that Pakistan and India BOTH have major problems to fix, gloating at each others problems is not a fix.

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  • Hozur
    Jun 10, 2014 - 4:09AM

    @imran:
    The news reports from many parts of the world proves it otherwise with this oft repeated claim.

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  • Hozur
    Jun 10, 2014 - 4:12AM

    @Godman

    or for that matter blasphemy a strange and curious law.

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  • abcd
    Jun 10, 2014 - 6:43AM

    @np
    This guy seems to be non Muslim, or an ignorant Muslim.
    If u r not Muslim, kindly dont poke ur nose in such sensitive matter like apostasy. Or show ur religion so that we may start a discussion….!!!

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  • Hamzah
    Jun 10, 2014 - 8:18AM

    @abcd: define how to be a good Muslim?

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  • Lord
    Jun 10, 2014 - 9:10AM

    State has failed its citizens at all fronts.Indeed. Astonishing is the fact that this state is a nuclear state.

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  • Hari Om
    Jun 10, 2014 - 10:28AM

    There is a conspiracy of silence in Pakistan when it comes to either slaughter of Shia and slaughter in Balochistan. Contrast the number of comments on ET between this incident of Shia’s being slaughtered in Balochistan and the killing of mainly Non Shia’s in Sindh when Karachi Airport was attacked. A measly 36 comments here while there are as many as 236 comments there for a very similar death toll.

    Is it any wonder that the Shia’s and Balochi’s in Pakistan are alienated?

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  • imran(shia)
    Jun 10, 2014 - 11:50AM

    i request all my shia and ahmedi bro’s to move away from pak and apply for citizenship in UK,Canada,Australia or atleast India..atleast u can be safe in those countries.Recommend

  • Umar ibn ali
    Jun 10, 2014 - 4:44PM

    we feel sad what happend in taftan pakistan but again could u guys feel and shed some tears on others death too please…. for example victims of american bombing and swat valley
    and red mosque and karachi ethanic strife and sunni ullamas….

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  • smj
    Jun 10, 2014 - 6:33PM

    @hrsa:

    stop offering prayers because mosques are under attack,
    stop shopping because markets are under attack,
    stop travelling because airports are under attack

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  • Ammar
    Jun 10, 2014 - 6:58PM

    @hrsa:
    Dear brother, there have been hundreds of dharnas everywhere in Pakistan demanding action against terrorists, but no action was taken by the government. How else one could force the government to take action? So the thing is that suspending one’s activities for something that does not seem to be resolved, does not make sense.Recommend

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