Small IED explosion at Sibi Mela causes stampede, no injuries

Published: February 16, 2012
Explosion took place during the Sibi mela.

Explosion took place during the Sibi mela.

SIBI: For the entertainment and opportunity starved Balochistan, the annual Sibi Mela is a breath of fresh air. However, this year’s Mela as almost drowned in panic as an improvised explosive device blew up at the fair ground on Thursday evening.

The low intensity explosion rocked the Chakar Khan Stadium, where historic festival Sibi Mela is underway, contrary to earlier reports, did not hurt anyone. An official said that a homemade improvised explosive device blew up at the entrance of the stadium.

The explosion caused stampede in the stadium, sources said.

A heavy contingent of security forces and police reached the site and cordoned off the area. Journalists and general public were not allowed to access to the crime scene.

“The explosion took place a few seconds prior to a display of fire works,” an eyewitness, Abdul Shakoor told The Express Tribune, adding that the people were asked to stay calm.

The Sibi Mela is a historic Balochistan festival. It had started on Wednesday with a cattle show, exhibition of Balochi embroidery, horse and camel dance.

The festival had been inaugurated by Provincial Minister for Communication Ali Madad Jattak. People from across the Province and parts of Sindh and Punjab had come along with their expensive cattle, camel and horse for public display and trade. The Mela will last for five days. The regional and traditional dances are also permanent features of the festival.

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