At least 20 martyred in Quetta vegetable market attack

F.P. Report

QUETTA: At least 20 people including two children were martyred after an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded at a vegetable market in Quetta on Friday.

The death toll was confirmed by DIG Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema.

One Frontier Corps soldier was also martyred in the attack while 48 others, including eight security personnel, were injured.

The senior police official added that at least eight of those killed in the blast at the Hazarganji area of the provincial capital belonged to Hazara community.

“The IED was concealed in a sack of potatoes,” said the DIG.

The bomb detonated near a site where produce was being loaded for distribution around the market.

“I was loading a small truck and I heard a huge bang and it seemed as if the earth beneath me had shaken and I fell down,” said Irfan Khan, a labourer, from his hospital bed.

Security forces cordoned the area after the blast and the injured were shifted to nearby hospitals for medical treatment. The DIG further said that 11 bodies were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta while three were moved to Bolan Medical Centre.

Since 2012, attacks against the ethnic Hazara community, have been on the rise. Hazara casualties include everyone from students and government employees to sportsmen.

Report sought

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and sought a report from the authorities. He directed the government to ensure the injured received the best medical care available.

Condemnations pour in

Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with the victims. He promised swift action against the perpetrators of the incident and directed authorities to ensure the injured were provided quality medical treatment.

Governor Balochistan Amanullah Khan Yasinzai also condemned the attack and urged the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to increase security and arrest the terrorist elements.

President Arif Alvi, Home Minister Zia Lango, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ahsan Iqbal also condemned the incident.