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Quetta blast death toll reaches 80

17 February, 2013

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QUETTA: The death toll of Kerani Road bombing has reached 80, bringing the number of injured down to 173 as more of the critical victims succumbed to their wounds, our sources reported.

DIG Wazir Khan Nasir was reported by a foreign news agency as saying that all the dead belonged to Hazara community and the death toll might rise.

A large number of women and children are among the victims of the mega blast that hit Qutta on Saturday.

CCPO Quetta said the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) the terrorists planted in a watertank was armed with around 800-1000 kilograms of high-grade detonable material.

He said people with critical injuries would be flown to Karachi through military aircraft C-130.

"It was a sectarian attack, the Shia community was the target," he added.

Azhar Ali Shah, a second police officer, confirmed the death toll, which had initially been put at 10. Provincial home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told AFP that the dead included women and children. "We fear more casualties. We have announced an emergency in hospitals," he said. Durrani said the bomb was planted near the pillar of a building in a bazaar. "The building collapsed due to the intensity of the bomb, some people have been trapped inside," he said.

Officials and witnesses said an angry mob surrounded the area after the blast and were not allowing policemen, rescue workers and reporters to reach the site. "They were angry and started a protest, some of them pelted police with stones," home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told AFP. "Some of them were armed and were firing gunshots in the air, later they allowed police and rescue workers to reach on spot," he added. An AFP photographer counted 30 dead bodies in only one hospital.

Burned school bags and books were strewn around.

"I saw many bodies of women and children," said an eyewitness at a hospital. "At least a dozen people were burned to death by the blast."

The bodies and injured were moved to Combined Military Hospital Quetta, Bolan Medical Complex hospital and Civil Hospital. According to the hospital sources, condition of several injured is critical. Reacting to the incident, Majlis-e-Wahdate Muslimeen has given strike call for Sunday while Tahaffuz-e-Azadar Council has announced seven days of mourning to condemn the killing. Main markets and commercial areas in the city were closed soon after the incident.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which intelligence officials say has become a major security threat, claimed responsibility for the attack. President Asif Zardari strongly condemned the blast and directed the authorities concerned to provide best medical assistance to the injured. He expressed sympathies with the bereaved families and reiterated the resolve of the government to continue its fight against the militants undeterred till its logical conclusion. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf reiterated the resolve of his government to fight and eliminate the menace of terrorism from Pakistan and said that terrorists would not be able to subdue 'our will through such dastardly acts'.

Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has increasingly become a flashpoint for sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias, who account for around a fifth of the country's 180 million people. At least 92 people were killed and 121 wounded on January 10, when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at a crowded snooker club in an area of Quetta city dominated by the Shia community.

It was Pakistan's worst sectarian bombing, claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf later the same month sacked the provincial government in Balochistan after meeting Shia protesters demanding protection. Most Western intelligence agencies have regarded the Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda as the gravest threat to nuclear-armed Pakistan, a strategic US ally.

End.

Reader Comments:

PAKISTAN WAS MADE ON THE BASIS THAT HINDUS AND MUSLIMS CAN NOT LIVE TOGATHER---JINNAH'S THEORY WHO HIMSELF WAS A SHIA. PAKISTAN SHOULD BE FURTHER DIVIDED KEEPING IN VIEW THE IDEOLOGY OF JINNAH , SINCE NOW SUNNI AND SHIA CAN NOT LIVE TOGATHER. FURTHER WE CAN DIVIDE PAKISTAN ON THE BASIS OF DEOBANDI AND BARELVI , AHMADIYAS AND SALAFI ETC. AND WILL KEEP ON DIVIDING TILL THE MATTER IS NOT SETTLED.

atul, - 16 February, 2013

i wonder how could a human being do this to innocent people!! shame on you the cowards, "lashkar e jangui, sipahe yazidi

اسرار حسین, Pakistan - 17 February, 2013

BE CLEAR!

Lashkar-e-Jhangavi whose creation was facilitated by ISI was conceived to bolster perceived defenses against domestic Shia elements when Iran was considered a threat to Pakistan.

Now, as with Taliban, has come home to bite ISI in arse!

AMERICAN WIND, United States - 17 February, 2013

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