At least 20 people were killed and 48 others injured in a blast in Hazarganji vegetable market of Pakistan’s Quetta, DAWN reported on Friday.
“The blast was targeting members of the Hazara community,” Dawn quoted Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Abdul Razzaq Cheema as saying. “The attack took place in a shop. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was planted in a gunny sack of potatoes. Whether it was timed or remote-controlled, our experts will tell us. Right now they are investigating,” DIG Cheema said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal strongly condemned the attack, Radio Pakistan tweeted. Khan directed to provide best possible medical treatment to injured.
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) April 12, 2019
The explosion at around 7:35 AM took place in the busy wholesale market area of Hazarganj in Quetta where Hazaras and other traders come daily to buy fruits and vegetables to later sell at their shops in other parts of the city, PTI reported.
The wounded were shifted to Bolan Medical Complex for medical treatment. A rescue operation is underway.
“Our guess is that no specific community was targeted. Marri Baloch and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were among those killed as well. The numbers of the Hazara community were just greater,” Home Minister Ziaullah Langove said in a press conference. Buildings located nearby were also damaged in the blast, police said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Cheema said that due to the blast, security has been provided to shopkeepers and traders at the market. “Traders who come from other parts of the city to buy fruits and vegetables at the market are escorted by police and Frontier Corps personnel,” the officer said.