81 killed 200 injured in Quetta blast

By: admin
Updated: 17 Feb 2013 04:00 AM


Islamabad: At least 81 people were killed and over 180 injured
in a sectarian attack which targetted the minority Shia Muslims in the
Quetta city of Pakistan's Balochistan province on Saturday, Xinhua
reported.




A senior police official, who revealed the latest toll had risen to 81,
said the deceased included women and children.




The incident occurred when a remote-contolled bomb, targeting Hazara
community of Shia Muslims, ripped through a market area located at the
city's Karani road at about 5.30 PM, said Mir Zubair Mehmood, Quetta's
City Central Police Officer.




The explosive materials were fixed in a water tank parked inside the
market.




An estimated 800 kg to 1,000 kg of explosive materials were used in the
blast, said Wazir Khan, deputy Inspector General of Quetta police. He
added that the explosion happened in a town where a vast population of
Hazara community of Shia Muslims resides.




The explosion left a 6 feet wide and 12 feet deep crater at the ground.




Radio Pakistan, however, put the toll at 57 and the number of wounded at
250 in the blast till last report.




The blast levelled two markets, comprising over 60 shops, to ground while
burying dozens of people under the debris, according to local TV channel
‘Dunya’.




Balochistan's Governor Nawab Zulfikar Magsi announced a day-long mourning
for Sunday in the province which borders Afghanistan and Iran.




Angry Shia protestors cordoned off the area following the blast and did
not allow police, rescue teams and media to reach the site.




Hazara community has been targeted dozens of times in Quetta over the last
two years in which hundreds of innocent Shia Muslims lost their lives.




The government, however, failed to provide adequate security to them, the
protestors claimed.




President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf strongly
condemned the blast and directed the authorities concerned to provide best
medical assistance to the injured, Radio Pakistan reported.




The number of dead could rise as several people among the injured were in
critical condition, said hospital sources.




Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, a group of Shia Muslims, has announced a
three-day mourning over the Saturday's incident and gave a strike call in
the city for Sunday.




No group claimed responsibility for the blast till last report. It was the
second major blast, targeting Shia Muslims in the area since the beginning
of this month.




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