QUETTA: One man belonging to the marginalised Hazara community was martyred and 13 others sustained injuries as an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded inside a shoe market on the city’s Mission Road on Tuesday.
Speaking to journalists at the crime scene, DIG Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema said a terrorist, pretending to be a customer, bought a pair of shoes and placed the explosive device packed in a box outside the shop. “As he walked away from the Jinnah Shoe Market, the device exploded with a huge bang, killing one Hazara shoe vendor and injuring 13 others – mostly belonging to Shia Hazara community.”
Heavy contingent of law enforcement agencies reached the spot and shifted the body and injured to Civil Hospital Quetta for medical treatment.
Bomb disposal and counter-terrorism department (CTD) teams cordoned off the market in order to collect the evidence from the crime scene, which would help ascertain the nature of explosion.
“Terrorists have been changing their strategies following visible security measures in Quetta city, but we would further improve security mechanism across the city,” said DIG Cheema, adding that, “I don’t think Hazara community has been targeted because many people belonging to other communities were also among the injured.”
Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan strongly condemned the attack, expressing grief over loss of innocent lives. “Terrorists have been targeting innocent citizens but security forces have been carrying out regular actions against timid enemies.”
CM Kamal directed strict security measures across the province ahead of Eidul Azha and Independence Day celebrations.
No group has thus far claimed responsibility of the blast, but it was the second terrorists attack in Quetta in the last one week. On July 30, five people including two policemen were killed and 31 others sustained injured after a blast ripped through a police van at Quetta’s Meezan Chowk.
Talking to the media, Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove vowed to eliminate terrorism from the province. “Unfortunately our neighbouring country has been importing terrorism in Pakistan through our province,” he remarked.
Pakistan has been plagued with wave of terrorism from the last two decades but our security forces have been utilising all resources in order to protect the lives and properties of masses, Langove said. “We have reached closer to the recently-emerged network of terrorists spoiling peace and they would be purged out soon,” he added.