Bomber kills police top brass at Quetta funeral
09 August, 2013
QUETTA: A Taliban suicide bomber killed 38 people on Thursday and wounded more than 50 others, most of them police officers attending a funeral on the eve of the Eidul Fitr, an officer said.
The attack was carried out at the police headquarters in Quetta. The bomber struck as officers gathered to pay their respects to a colleague who had been shot dead only hours before in Quetta. DIG Fayaz Sumbal, one of the most senior officers in Quetta, was among those killed.
"At least 38 people have been killed and more than 50 injured," senior police official Mohammad Tariq told AFP. "Most of the dead and injured are policemen." A son of the imam of the mosque at the police headquarters was among the dead, Doctor Syed Sarwar Shah told AFP at one hospital.
"We killed the station-house officer and then we targeted the funeral to kill the other officers," Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said. Police said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. Witnesses described the horror after the explosion.
"I was inside the mosque and we were lining up for the funeral prayers when a big blast took place. I came out and saw injured and dead bodies lying on the ground," policeman Mohammad Hafiz told reporters. "I have no words to explain what I've seen. It was horrible." Another witness told reporters he saw dead bodies scattered everywhere.
According to details, a suicide bomber exploded himself when DIG Sumbal arrived at the Police Lines. As he got out of his vehicle along with Elite Police guards, the officer himself spotted a suspicious man close to him and asked his guards to check him. As soon as the policemen got close to the man, he exploded himself, killing all the senior officials present there to receive the DIG. Sumbal had gone to the Police Lines for a guard of honour ceremony for an SHO who was killed in an ambush earlier in the day.
DIG Sumbal, SP Headquarters Mehrullah, DSP in-charge Shamsur Rehman, SP Traffic Mohammad Anwer Khilji, Inspector Shakeel Akbar and five personnel of the Anti-Terrorist Force (ATF) were killed while others sustained injuries in the attack. Majority of the injured personnel were from the Balochistan Constabulary, ATF, and police.
According to the sources, IG Balochistan Mustahq Ahmed Shukera and CCPO Mir Zubair Mehmood were the prime targets of the suicide attack; however, they remained safe as they arrived at the scene a minute later.
It may be recalled that IGP Balochistan Mushtaq Sukera had escaped a massive suicide attack in Red Zone some three months ago near IGP house. The deceased and injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital and CMH in Quetta. Since most of the doctors in the Civil Hospital were on leave for Eid, the injured were again shifted from Civil Hospital to CMH.
The CMH sources confirmed that 33 dead bodies and 62 injured were brought to the hospital. Five bodies were shifted to the Civil Hospital, whereas 15 injured people are in a critical condition.
CCPO Mir Zubair Ahmed confirmed the death of DIG Sumbal. Thick smoke enveloped the site after the blast. According to the Bomb Disposal Squad around eight kilogrammes of explosive was used in suicide attack. The bomber used ball bearings and high-explosive material in the blast, ensuring maximum deaths and destruction.
Earlier, SHO City Mohibullah was on way from home to market with his children when unidentified armed men on a motorcycle fired on him at Almo Chowk, killing him on the spot while his four children and driver sustained injuries.