Seven people wounded in Khuzdar blast

IEF targets bus passengers of Zikri sect; no group has claimed responsibility, as officials rule out sectarian attack


Shezad Baloch July 28, 2014

QUETTA: At least seven people were wounded after a passenger coach was attacked with a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) in Khuzdar district, Balochistan.

The passenger bus was attacked in the Nal Gresha area of the district while on its way to Khuzdar from Panjgur district. “The IED was planted on the road [and] was detonated by a remote controller when [the] passenger bus passed by,” Deputy Commissioner Khuzdar Waheed Shah told The Express Tribune.

The bus was five to six feet away from where the IED was planted, he said, adding that that was why the explosion had caused fewer casualties. “All seven victims sustained minor injuries,” he added.

The window panels of the passenger coach shattered as a result of the blast. Balochistan Levies personnel and passersby on the road transported the injured to a nearby state-run hospital for treatment.

None of the injured are stated to be in critical condition, according to medics at Nal hospital. All victims were Zikri and residents of Gesha Nal, Khuzdar.

Zikri Mahdavis or Zikris are an offshoot of the Mahdavi movement who mostly reside in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Zikri derives from the Arabic word dhikr -- meaning "remembrance" or "devotion".

However, officials ruled out that they were targeted because of their sect as there have been no attacks on Zikri in Khuzdar, whereas security forces have been targeted in the same area.

“They are targeting whatever they assume [to be an] easy target. In the same area, Levies personnel were targeted,” Shah said.

Khuzdar is one of the most troubled districts in Balochistan where targeted killings, bombing and clashes between militants and security forces occur frequently.

Khuzdar is also home to pro and anti-government armed militant groups, who usually carry out deadly attacks

However, no group claimed responsibility for today's attack. .

“Security forces have taken strict action against those creating law and order problems in Khuzdar. It could be a reaction to that. Balochistan Levies personnel arrested several suspects in recent days,” Shah told The Express Tribune.

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