At least five security personnel were killed in a suicide attack in the Sharifabad area of the provincial capital early Saturday morning.
The Frontier Corps stopped a vehicle at a check post on Qambrani Road and proceeded to question the driver when he detonated himself, killing three FC soldiers and two officials of the Military Intelligence on security duty. The vehicle was laden with explosives which reduced the car into a heap of twisted metal.
Frontier Corps (FC) spokesman Murtaza Baig told The Express Tribune that the FC had set up the check post in Sharifabad following intelligence provided to them on possible terrorist attacks during Eidul Fitr.
The spokesman said the terrorist may have planned to target a military installation or a public place.
Had security personnel not stopped the vehicle, there would have been colossal damage to life and property in the heavily populated centre of Quetta, he said.
“The explosion was so loud that the entire locality was woken up an hour before Sehri,” said a local resident.
A large number of security personnel, Frontier Corps and police rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. The deceased were taken to the Combined Military Hospital.
Inspector General Frontier Corps (IGFC) Ubaidullah Khan Khattak said in a statement that the Frontier Corps personnel had given their lives for the residents of Quetta.
According to the IGFC, the attacker’s target was the Eidgah on the first day of Eidul Fitr. The Frontier Corps had received information about the plot, he added.
The IGFC paid tribute to the Frontier Corps personnel who lost their lives in the attack. Funeral prayers for the personnel were offered at FC Headquarters and later their bodies were dispatched to their native towns.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack as yet.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.