QUETTA: At least seven passengers on a bus were injured on Monday when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in Nal Gresha area of the volatile Khuzdar district.
According to officials, the commuter bus was heading to Khuzdar from Panjgur district when it was attacked using a remote-controlled bomb.
“The IED was planted along the road and was detonated using a remote control device when the passenger bus passed by,” Waheed Shah, deputy commissioner of Khuzdar, told The Express Tribune.
The officer revealed that the bus was five to six feet away from the spot where the explosive device was planted. “All the seven victims sustained minor injuries.”
Passengers said that the glass window panels of the commuter bus were shattered after the explosion. There were shards of glass everywhere, they said.
“None of the injured are in a critical condition,” medics at Nal hospital said.
According to security officials, all victims were Zikri and resident of Nal Gresha, Khuzdar. Zikri Mahdavis or “Zikris” are an offshoot of the Mahdavi movement. However, officials ruled out that they were targeted because of their religious beliefs.
Commenting on the incident the commissioner said, “The perpetrators of this attack are targeting whatever they assume is an easy prey. Earlier, in the same area Levies personnel were targeted,” he said while responding to a question on the group responsible for the attack.
Though no one has owned up the incident, pro and anti-government militant groups are active in Khuzdar and usually carry out such deadly attacks.
“Security forces have taken strict action against groups that are violating the law in Khuzdar. This attack could be a reaction to the security operation,” Waheed Shah said.
The attack comes a day after an explosive device went off in Quetta’s Kandhari Bazaar area – a bustling shopping district. At least 13 shoppers were injured in the explosion.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.