QUETTA: Seven persons, including five security personnel, were martyred and 17 others were injured as a result of a suicide blast on the Zarghoon Road near the GPO Chowk in Quetta. The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying a suicide bomber targeted the police contingent.
The explosion took place near a police truck parked close to the GPO Chowk on the Zarghoon Road located in the city’s high security Red Zone around 300 metres from the provincial assembly building. The martyred police personnel were on their way back after completion of duty when the bomber detonated his explosives near their vehicle. The blast also damaged a nearby public bus. Police personnel took positions around the provincial assembly building while additional contingents were also called in following the blast.
Briefing the media, the IGP Balochistan Moazzam Jah Ansari said the suicide bomber walked near the back of the police truck and blew himself up. He said the earlier impression that the attacker used a motorcycle in the attack was incorrect. Most deaths occurred due to the impact from ball bearings and pellets stored in the bomber’s suicide jacket, said Ansari. According to the Bomb Disposal Squad, 10-15 kilograms of explosives was used in the attack.
IGP Ansari said there is a very strong likelihood that the suicide bomber had come from across the Afghan border, as established in the case of previous attacks in Quetta, all the suicide bombers were foreign nationals. He ruled out the impression that the terrorist had planned to attack the Balochistan Assembly and said the terrorists targeted police an hour after the assembly session had ended.
Governor Balochsitan directed the authorities to provide the best possible medical facilities to the injured. He also offered Fateha, sympathised with the bereaved families and prayed for the early recovery of the injured.
Meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi have strongly condemned the blast.