12 arrested in Quetta blast investigation

Published: September 4, 2010
Injured people lie down on the road after an explosion in Quetta on Friday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Injured people lie down on the road after an explosion in Quetta on Friday. PHOTO: REUTERS

QUETTA: Police on Saturday conducted raids in different parts of Quetta where 62 people were killed and 185 injured in a suicide attack on an Al-Quds day procession a day earlier.

The police have arrested 12 suspects so far in the case, while an FIR of the accused in the blast case has also been registered at the City Police Station.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has formed a judicial tribunal to investigate the attack. He has also formed a ministerial commission to review law and order.

Meanwhile, a complete shutter-down strike is being observed in the city. The call for the strike was announced by the Shia Conference.

Traders Union and political parties in the city are fully participating in the strike.  All markets, educational institutions and other businesses are closed across the city.

Heavy contingents of police and FC have been deployed around Quetta to avoid any untoward incident.

Updated from print edition (below)

62 killed in suicide attack on rally

At least 62 people were killed and over 150 injured in a suicide attack on an Al Quds rally, followed by indiscriminate firing. Soon after the bomber blew himself up, heavily armed men opened fire as a result of which dozens received bullet injuries.

Banned religious outfit Lashkar-i-Janghvi claimed responsibility for the attack and warned of more attacks if a ban was not imposed on processions and demonstrations of Shia organisations. Later the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also claimed responsibility for the same attack.  The incident of the blast and firing took place as the procession, led by the Imamia Students Organisation to mark Al Quds Day – an annual event opposing Israel’s control of Jerusalem, reached Mezan Chowk. Hundreds of people took part in the rally that the police tried to stop near Mali Bagh on McChangey Road owing to security concerns. The younger participants however pushed their way further by removing police barricades and it was when the procession reached Mezan Chowk that the suicide bomber  detonated the explosives.

“Around 20 people caught fire as a result of the blast while human flesh spread all over the ground,” TV cameraman Shahid Mukhtar who suffered multiple injuries to The Express Tribune. “I don’t know what happened, everything was covered with thick smoke,” he said.  The driver of Express News’ DSNG van said that a group of armed men opened indiscriminate fire soon after the blast and tried to set the DSNG van on fire. “No security official was present to tackle the situation,” he said while another eyewitness, Saqib, said that 15 people suffered bullet injuries.

Enraged participants of the rally burnt several vehicles, motorcycles and shops in Mezan Chowk and adjoining areas where the police and Frontier Crops reached after a delay of an hour. There was also an exchange of fire between the armed men and security personnel during which two passersby received injuries. Fund collecting camps set up by different organisations for flood victims were also burnt down.

According to an eyewitness, around 20 people died after receiving bullet injuries. “We received 10 bodies and 28 injured while a large number of injured have been referred to the CMH,” Medico Legal Officer at the Sandeman Hospital said. Up to 60 bodies and 159 injured were rushed to the CMH while four bodies were sent to the BMC.

Talking to journalists, Provincial Police Officer, Malik Mohammad Iqbal said that the police had tried to stop the rally due to a security concern but the participants refused to follow instructions. He said the police had also issued a warning about a suspected attack. The suicide bomber is believed to be between 25 and 30 years old, as guessed by his head that was found after the attack.

Mohammad Sarwar, a driver working for AAJ TV is also among the dead while seven others belonging to the media suffered injuries. Express News reporter Irshad Mastoi, Express News cameraman Shahid Muktiar, Samaa TV’s Noor Elahi Bugti and Ejaz Raisani, ARY TV’s Mustafa Tareen, Geo TV’s Imran Muktiar and Dawn News’ Fateh Shakir were also among those hurt.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • SA
    Sep 4, 2010 - 9:49AM

    Now taking out this rally in favor of palestine is nothing but MADNESS!! We need to sort our internal affairs first then move on to the international! What was the point of marching on the raod and getting killed? I bet some of the palestinians would not even know that there’s a country called pakistan. Rallies in a country which is already facing law and order crises.. duh!!Recommend

  • SK
    Sep 4, 2010 - 10:03AM

    I believe this news is not complete because I didn’t see honorable (or not so) interor minister’s usual and shameless statement- “I have taken notice of this barbaric incident and asked all the agencies to file a report in next 24 hours. We have information that this was work of Jandullah or TTP …….”.

    Have they got ay shame but at all. Are we the inhabitants of this land of pure not the humans or don’t even deserve basic right of living in peace while these so called leaders continue importing bullet proof vehcles for themselves.

    Someone please tell them, there is a time set for everyone’s death, they can take any measure for their physical protection but unless they protect the masses who are under their watch, they will Inshallah face Allah’s wrath on D-day and I for one pray for that as I have no other recourse to justice being a citizen of this country.Recommend

  • Tooba Altaf
    Sep 4, 2010 - 11:50AM

    come on !!! the people should have stopped after the warning of police.
    And if police suspected the attack then it should have taken some urgent and effective measures to arrest the bomber.Recommend

  • Sultan Ahmed.
    Sep 4, 2010 - 1:42PM

    I admit your standpoint that
    who commit such act like suicide attack is not Muslim.

    i want hear from you more than that,
    who they are ??????????????Recommend

  • Raja
    Sep 4, 2010 - 2:19PM

    Common people, save your country first then try to interfere into others. We don’t need to follow corrupts leader and give away life. Are you really want to die in this manner??

    Please think of your family to whom you are supporting.

    Allah mercy on us.Recommend

  • Syed Naqwi
    Sep 4, 2010 - 4:58PM

    @M. Shahjahan Bhatti this is a bigotry remark which I have heard before from some zealots AL Hadits followers. Although I didn’t want to talk about these infuriating and hating issues but MR your remarks are justify the heinous acts of terrorist. Well by the way how you justifying the attack on Data Darbar and Eid Miladun Nabi on Sunni by Taliban. These people are intolerant to anyone who is against there beliefs and yea people like you are defending them thats the reason why we got these heinous acts of barbarism here in Pakistan because there are sympathisers in educated class of Pakistan like you. Recommend

  • Syed Naqwi
    Sep 4, 2010 - 5:02PM

    well by justifying these acts we shouldn’t rue the acts of lynching of innocent boys in Sailkot someone correctly labelled as “Human Cockroaches”. Anyone justifying these attacks should not be even called a human as well.Recommend

  • A
    Sep 4, 2010 - 7:27PM

    @M. Shahjahan Bhatti

    your comment just signifies the extent of the crisis that we face today. people like you, masquerading under the thinly disguised veneer of respectable armchair analysts, justify these barbaric acts on account of their personal religious prejudices. as long as intolerant and religiously warped people like you continue to see the world through their prejudiced perspectives and keep condoning the acts of animals, we are doomed to self destruction. you are quite welcome to your apparent vision of a puritanical state in which minorities will always be subject to genocidal tendencies; just don’t expect others to stay in it. Recommend

  • sultan, Abbottabad
    Sep 4, 2010 - 7:54PM

    All we can do is to pray for the deceased and for those who lost their loved ones in the holy month of Ramadan. I would like to remind my Pakistani brothers & sisters of the time when Afghanistan was occupied by Russian forces in the eighties this was the situation we were going through, blasts, hathora groups, conspiracies and killings and mayhem although frequency was less.

    We came through all that intact rather a little better trained to handle such situations. So my dears it is most unfortunate that Sunni extremists like Lashkar e Jhangvi and Sipah e Sahaba & other Shia extremist are out there to disturb our equilibrium of life.

    But let us give them a clear and loud message that we will come out as winners no matter what. USA and NATO will run from Afghanistan and X/Black water will leave Pakistan along with RAW & Mossad and Insha Allah we will pay back them in their own coins but in a much better style. So my request to 180 million Pakistanis is that our sacrifices will not go wasted so please keep your morale and head highRecommend

  • S. Ali Raza
    Sep 4, 2010 - 9:48PM

    Lets not be so stupid, because the Shia’s were involved. The distance from the actual route and the changed route was not much. So it really does not matter where the procession went from. The attackers were mobile!Recommend

  • Pervez
    Sep 4, 2010 - 10:14PM

    @shahjahan Bhatti. I am so suprised and shocked at your comments. You seem to be justifying this horrific act. Your argument is so baseless and your ideology is exactly what has plagued Pakistan today. Shame on you. Recommend

  • Talha
    Sep 5, 2010 - 12:12AM

    @ Shahjahan Bhatti

    You said exactly what has been heard for some time. The 1953 anti Ahmadi riots had three conditions, remove Sir Zafarullah Khan from his post as the foreign minister, declare the as non Muslims and remove all Ahmadis from important positions within Pakistan.

    The day these people and others from various minorites were removed, Pakistan descended into a state of despair.

    You can judge a country by looking at how it treats its minorities. It used to treat them well but not anymore.

    Ahmadi’s and Agha Khani’s were the only two groups which gave their full support to the idea of Pakistan. They deserved the power they had based on their merit and work.Recommend

  • ahmed
    Sep 5, 2010 - 8:32AM
  • M. Shahjahan Bhatti
    Sep 5, 2010 - 8:36AM

    The problem with Pakistani psyche is that it doesn’t tolerate truth if it hurts its personal interests. I reiterate that these bombings and blasts are not due to any religious differences among Sunnis, Shiites or Ahmedis but merely due to the unjust distribution of national resources. Making mistakes is a costly business. Today they sit on explosives simply due to their mistakes of the past and if they don’t correct the first mistake they will go on making mistake over mistake. There is no magic in the world. If you don’t correct your mistakes, you will face the consequences. It’s not my wisdom, it’s is a simple and natural truth. Recommend

  • forget it
    Sep 6, 2010 - 2:58AM

    Mr. Bhatti you are perhaps the most perspicacious commenter on this website. Your theory of “mistakes” is perhaps the most useful model to understand sectarian strife in this country. If you permit me, let me supplement your theory: another great mistake not accounted for by you was the fact that such a sick individual as yourself was ever born, now you are compounding this original mistake by a series of mistakes in the form of the most vile, bigoted and half-educated comments on this article “making mistake after mistake”.
    Go and get an education, learn some morality, learn how to think and then come back. And by the way, moderators, I know we are towards the end of Ramazan but really, kya so rahe ho? Or should I surmise that Mr. Bhatti’s comments are not in anyway offensive? Recommend

  • Jahanzaib Haque
    Sep 6, 2010 - 3:38AM

    @Bhatti your original comment has been deleted as part of our comment moderation policy regarding slander on groups/individuals.

    @All apologies for the mistake and delay in action.

    Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • M. Shahjahan Bhatti
    Sep 6, 2010 - 8:29AM

    I know these people will prefer to continue with their idiotic behavior and pay damn care to the voice of reason. They are actual suicide bombers. Who cares if they decide self destruction as the only way. Let them use a calculator to figure out how many of their blind followers are dying simply due to their stupid leadership. As a protest for deleting my post by the webmaster, I shall never write on this forum again. Recommend

  • Syed Naqwi
    Sep 6, 2010 - 2:13PM

    @M. Shahjahan Bhatti that will be a great favour of you on us Recommend

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