Policemen among eight killed, 23 injured in Quetta Blast

February 18, 2020

QUETTA: At least eight people including policemen were killed and 23 others sustained wounds in a bomb explosion at the Shahrah-i-Adalat near press club on Monday.

According to details, the blast’s epicentre was the crowded Jinnah road where a religious figurehead was leading a rally. The intensity of the blast broke the windows of nearby buildings and also damaged vehicles parked in the vicinity. Several vehicles parked in the vicinity have also been damaged.

Law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the area and started investigation into the incident. The bomber — a young man — was racing towards the rally, said a police official who was present at the site. He detonated himself after being intercepted by security personnel.

Eight bodies and 21 wounded persons were brought to the Civil Hospital, a spokesperson confirmed. While on the other hand, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Abdul Razaq Cheema confirmed to the media present on location that the blast was suicidal in nature.

DIG Quetta said that the deaths reported so far also included three security officials. The bomber tried to target a crowded area but was stopped at a checkpoint by the local police, upon being stopped the suicide bomber detonated himself, said the DIG.

The injured were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta for medical treatment, where emergency has been imposed. The Quetta press club is also in the vicinity of the district court, the injured have been rushed to Civil Hospital for medical treatment.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan directed the IGP to submit a report within the next 24 hours. Minister of Interior Blaochistan Zia Langove has confirmed the blast and has said that the number of those injured by the blast may escalate.

Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai also condemned the blast and said: “Such a cowardly attack can’t weaken the morale of the nation and the security forces.” In a statement, the governor maintained that “measures should be taken to foil the nefarious designs of militants”, adding that law enforcement agencies should take stern action against such elements.

Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the Quetta explosion and expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the unfortunate incident. In a statement, the prime minister directed authorities concerned with the matters to leave no stone unturned in providing best healthcare facilities to the injured.

PM Imran Khan expressed solidarity with the bereaved families and prayed for early recovery of the injured.  In his condolence message, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah said some miscreants and anti-state elements want to destabilize law and order situation, but they will not succeed in their nefarious designs.

Meanwhile, Sindh Inspector General Kaleem Imam instructed senior police officials beef up security across the province following the Quetta suicide blast.

Officials have been told to take concrete security measures around government buildings, offices, railway stations, bus terminals, airports and mosques, a spokesperson for the Sindh Police said. = DNA