Targeted killings: Rocket attack kills seven in Quetta

Published: May 7, 2011
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A man is comforted by community members, after he arrived to the local hospital in Quetta to find a family member shot dead. PHOTO: REUTERS

A man is comforted by community members, after he arrived to the local hospital in Quetta to find a family member shot dead. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: 

At least seven people, among them a woman who died of a coronary failure, were shot by activists of a banned sectarian outfit who also fired at least three rockets on residences in a locality near Hazara Town in Quetta on Friday.

Eight others were injured in the attack. All victims belonged to the Shia Hazara community, observers and police sources said.

“Six people were gunned down (in the firing after the attack). Eight others were seriously injured,” confirmed Hamid Shakil, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Operations. Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) claimed responsibility for the deadly attack and vowed to continue similar assaults against the Shia community.

Calling a local news agency from an unspecified location, the LJ spokesman, who identified himself as Ali Sher Haideri, threatened to avenge the killing of al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, by targeting ministers and security forces.

The Shia community and Hazara Democratic Party condemned the attack and announced a three-day mourning period. They also called for a shutter-down strike on Saturday (today).

According to eyewitness accounts, at least 10 men armed with automatic assault rifles and two rocket launchers on three vehicles, two pick-up trucks and a car, took up positions on the Bypass Road, above the Hazara Town, near a public park and a graveyard.

“I was awakened by a huge explosion. The armed men fired at least three rockets and then opened indiscriminate fire on the people offering prayers in the graveyard and passers-by,” said Mehdi Asghar, a member of the Mukhtar force, Balochistan, an organisation for the security of the Shia community.

“The firing lasted 17 minutes, during which, we frantically tried to contact police and other officials but no one responded,” he added.

Three rockets were lobbed, one of them hit a house, second an imambargah while the third one landed in the graveyard, killing and injuring several people. The deceased and injured were shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex and Combined Military Hospital (CMH).

“We received five bodies. While doctors were collecting information about the deceased and the injured, a mob overpowered them and tore the manual register,” a source at the hospital said.

The police and FC personnel reached the crime scene after the incident and cordoned
off the area. “The assailants entered from the Brewery Road and fled towards the Shalkot area after carrying out the attack,” local police officer Amir Mohammad said.

A large number of angry protesters reached the Bypass Road and held a protest demonstration. They set two motorcycles on fire and burnt tyres, as traffic remained disrupted.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2011.


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Reader Comments (17)

  • May 6, 2011 - 12:48PM

    Sectarian attack? or inciting sectarian hate attack?Recommend

  • Changez Khan
    May 6, 2011 - 12:49PM

    I fully condole with the victims of Hazara Town attack. It is completely show the incapability and failure of Government and LEAs to protect to protect the ethnic minority “Hazaras” in Quetta Pakistan. Where is human rights organizations and activists, why they do not record their protest about the gruesome killings of Hazaras. The member of human rights organizations in Balochistan are aslo biased / narrow minded about Hazaras. the HR organization should take notice of the issue and purge them from their ranks. Recommend

  • Chilli
    May 6, 2011 - 12:55PM

    This is high time to seal all borders and do a massive search operations to recover all weapons and arrest all wrong doers. We should ban all organizations political or religious having even hint of militancy. Recommend

  • Badshah
    May 6, 2011 - 1:02PM

    Why Pakistani security forces are shy of saying that this was the first retaliation from Al-Qaeda or its affiliates after the death of Osama Bin Laden! By saying that it was a sectarian attack the Pakistani security forces try to help extremists!Recommend

  • Nurmomad
    May 6, 2011 - 1:19PM

    Another reminder that the militants are after innocent civilians and no matter how or when, they have to be exterminated forever.

    Civilizations can be achieved through contribution to the field of science, knowledge and economy, not through barbarism.Recommend

  • Ali Xaidi
    May 6, 2011 - 1:29PM

    Now again they killing Shi’ite Muslims on the name of reaction of Drone Attacks and Revenge of Osama.

    What these innocents have to do with America and Al-Qaeda war ?Recommend

  • Mastishhk
    May 6, 2011 - 4:16PM

    Wait till Salman Bashir gets this guys…He is not going to tolerate anything henceforth !!Recommend

  • Hyder Ali
    May 6, 2011 - 4:33PM

    This is why Pakistan needs to remove Islamic terrorists from its soil in a verifiable manner with Pak security services working under the supervision of Afghan, Indian, Iranian, US and NATO.Recommend

  • shezad
    May 6, 2011 - 5:23PM

    al qaeda and taleban will kill all shias and only then they will be satisfied but shias of this country will fight back with outside help.Recommend

  • prema sai
    May 6, 2011 - 7:12PM

    “This is high time to seal all borders and do a massive search operations to recover all weapons and arrest all wrong doers. We should ban all organizations political or religious having even hint of militancy.”

    Why seal off the border? Your enemies are well within your borders.

    By the way, where are all the Osama apologists? Don’t they see that Al Qaeda and Talibajn have killed more muslims than non-muslims?Recommend

  • Hamza Ali Khan
    May 6, 2011 - 7:47PM

    LJ is responsible as they have accepted as well. Once again it is proved time and again that these religious zealots/bandits are murderers. Those Al Qaeda/Taliban/LJ apologists should be ashamed of themselves, as it is only Muslim blood which is being spilled by these thugs. All of this scum should be wiped out from Pakistan otherwise we are doomed.Recommend

  • May 6, 2011 - 11:26PM

    why thay are killed shia muslims shia is the best muslim of the world shaheeda ne hazara town ko surkh salamRecommend

  • May 7, 2011 - 7:03AM

    It is time to pass a law against HATE SPEECH here in Pakistan..with serious punishments..

    its time to TEACH these Mullahs that promoting hate can get you into trouble.Recommend

  • nauroz
    May 7, 2011 - 12:03PM

    this attack was under the police protection. Recommend

  • I_love_Pakistan
    May 7, 2011 - 11:11PM

    Stay away from Saudis and Americans if you want Pakistan to survive.Recommend

  • daniel changazi uk
    May 8, 2011 - 2:16AM

    And this incident happened few meters from police check post..Recommend

  • SALIM
    May 8, 2011 - 8:57AM

    Pakistan should stop Genocide of Shias immediatelyRecommend

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