At least seven people, including three leaders of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Nazaryati, have been killed and 14 others injured in an explosion in Chaman, a town at the Pak-Afghan border in Qila Abdullah district, on Friday afternoon.
Party Central Naib Amir Maulana Abdul Qadir Luni, who police say was the target, was among the people injured in the powerful blast.
Police officials said that the blast took place in the Boghara Chowk area of the border town after the conclusion of the Palestine solidarity rally staged by the JUI-N to condemn the Israeli aggression against the oppressed Palestinians in Gaza.
Official sources said a motorcycle rigged with an improvised explosive device was parked near the venue of the rally and detonated when Maulana Luni was leaving along with other party leaders and workers.
“It seems the target of the blast was Maulana Abdul Qadir Luni as the IED planted in the motorcycle was detonated with a remote control soon after he left the venue,” a senior police officer said.
“Maulana Luni survived the blast with minor injuries and was immediately shifted to a hospital amid heavy security,” Deputy Commissioner Qilla Abdullah Tariq Javed Mengal said, adding that four people were killed on the spot and 17 others injured in the blast that “rocked the border town”.
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Police said the vehicle of the JUI-N naib amir was damaged while the windowpanes of nearby shops and buildings were smashed due to the impact of the blast.
Police, other law enforcement agencies and rescue workers rushed to the site and shifted the 17 wounded to District Headquarter Hospital Chaman where two more of them succumbed to their injuries while four others were shifted to the Tamara Centre of Civil Hospital, Quetta.
DHQ Hospital Chaman Medical Superintendent Dr Himayatullah said that another injured succumbed to his wounds before reaching Quetta, taking the total number of fatalities to seven.
Medical Superintendent Himayatullah said, “Four bodies and 17 injured were brought to the hospital. Later, two of the wounded succumbed to their injuries during treatment, while four of them were referred to Quetta for treatment as they were seriously injured.”
Six out of seven victims of the Chaman blast were identified as Muhammad Ibrahim, Abdul Qahar, Tour Jan, Abdul Rasheed, Hamdullah and Mehmoodul Hasan.
Deputy Commissioner Mengal said, “As Chaman is located on the Pak-Afghan border, security alerts are issued every week. However, there was no threat alert issued this time around.”
Law enforcement agencies have started investigation into the blast. The bomb disposal squad is collecting evidence.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan and Home Minister Ziaullah Langove have strongly condemned the motorcycle blast in Chaman, vowing to bring the elements involved in the deadly blast to justice soon.
They expressed grief and sorrow over the killing of seven persons and injuring of 14 others, directing the concerned officials to provide best available medical facilities to the injured.
Lanogve has sought a report from concern authorities. “Enemies are trying to destabilise Pakistan internally,” he added.