QUETTA: Police investigators are trying to ascertain whether or not the terrorist attack at a mosque in Quetta on Friday was a case of suicide bombing.
The Islamic State, which also goes by the name of Daesh, has claimed responsibility of the attack, saying that one of its “suicide bombers” targeted the mosque in the provincial capital.
Home Minister Mir Zia Langove had already hinted at the possibility of a suicide attack after reaching the site.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday ordered an immediate probe as the police registered a first information report (FIR) of the incident.
In a statement, the premier directed the Balochistan government to ensure that medical facilities were provided to the injured. He also hailed the bravery of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Haji Amanullah, who was among the martyred.
The bomb ripped through Madrassa Darul Uloom Al Sharia in the Ghosabad area of Quetta’s Satellite Town, when the worshippers were offering Maghrib prayers, breaking a relatively long pause in terrorist violence in the country.
A senior police officer said on Friday night the prayer leader and a police officer was among the 14 fatalities. However, a critically-injured person died overnight, raising the death toll to 15 on Saturday. Home minister Zia Langove said out of 20 injured, six were still in critical condition.
As the locals started burials of the martyrs, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) registered the first information report (FIR) of the attack at the Satellite Town police station. Among the firsts, the martyred DSP, Amanullah Khan, was laid to rest in Quetta’s QDA graveyard amid moving scenes.
Hundreds of people participated in the funeral of slain DSP. Amanullah’s relatives anger over the deterioration of law and order in the province, “We are not even safe not in mosque,” said Muhammad Anwar, nephew of martyred Amanullah’s said.
A son of Amanullah was also killed in a targeted attack in Quetta last month. “Our family still awaits for justice in Najebullah’s murder case but the tragic bombing killed his father Amanullah,” Anawr said, requesting the prime minister to protect public lives.
However, Deputy Inspector General of Police in Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema had denied any link between the death of Amanullah in Friday’s mosque bombing and his son’s murder. He added that investigation into Najeebullah’s murder case was almost complete.
As the police investigation kicked off, officials are trying to confirm whether if a planted improvised explosive device (IED) was used in the attack or a suicide bomber carried it out.
Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said those who targeted innocent people in a mosque can never be true Muslims.
According an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) tweet, the FC troops reached the blast site in Quetta and cordoned off the entire area.
The military’s media wing stated that the law enforcement and investigation agencies along with the local police started a joint search operation while the injured were evacuated to the hospital.
It was the second bomb blast in Quetta within three days. On Tuesday, an IED fitted inside a motorbike targeted a security force convoy on the provincial capital’s busiest Mecongy road, martyring two civilians.
With additional input from agencies