At least 20 people lost their lives and several wounded as an explosion ripped through a market in Quetta, according to the police. The latest senseless attack seems to be another attempt against the city’s minority Hazara community.
The explosion took place as Hazaras, who are Shia Muslims, were buying vegetables early on Friday morning, Quetta police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema confirmed.
“Members of the Hazara community go to the market every day to shop, and we provide them with a security escort,” he said.
“They were at the market as police and [paramilitary] Frontier Corps soldiers patrolled the area. There was a store selling potatoes, and that is where the explosion has taken place.”
The aftermath of the explosion showed blood sprayed across the dirt floor of the market, damaged vehicles and sacks of potatoes split open by the force of the blast.
Police are yet to ascertain whether the bomb was planted or a suicide attack had taken place.
“The bomb appeared to have been set in the potato sacks, but we cannot rule out whether it was a suicide attack just yet,” Cheema said.
At least seven members of the Hazara community and one paramilitary soldier were among those killed, he said, capping off another dark day for the country.
Deeply saddened & have strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Hazarganji market area of Quetta targeting our innocent people. I have asked for an immediate inquiry & increased security for the ppl. Prayers go to the families of the victims & for early recovery of the injured.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 12, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the terrorist attack targeting innocent people.