QUETTA, July 1: Amid a pall of gloom and heavy deployment of security personnel, thousands of mourners laid to rest the victims of Sunday night’s suicide attack in the Hazara Town graveyard on Monday.
At least 28 people, nine of them women, were killed and 60 injured when a bomber blew himself up near a barrier close to Ali Ibn-Abu-Talib Imambargah in the Aliabad area of Hazara Town on Sunday night. And two of the injured succumbed to their injuries on Monday morning, taking the toll to 30.
Caskets containing bodies of the deceased were brought to the graveyard amid tight security.
A heavy contingent of police and Frontier Corps personnel had been deployed in and around the graveyard and all entry points to Hazara Town had been sealed.
Talking to journalists after the burial, Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) president Abdul Khaliq Hazara, member of the Balochistan Assembly and leader of Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen Syed Reza Agha and Balochistan Shia Conference (BSC) leader Daud Agha criticised the government and law-enforcement agencies for their failure to protect people’s lives.
They said although hundreds of security personnel had been deployed in the city terrorists were carrying out attacks when and wherever they wanted.
They said about 400 people had been killed over the past six moths in bomb attacks in the city and security forces were unable to arrest any of the culprits.
They accused the security forces of leaving members of Hazara community and Shias at the mercy of terrorists.
Meanwhile, a six-member team headed by the SP investigation has been formed for the blast probe.
Police sources said that law-enforcement personnel had launched an operation in different areas of the city and took two suspects into custody.
STRIKE: On the calls of HDP and BSC a strike was observed in Quetta in protest against the attack on innocent people.
Trading centres and shops on the Shara-i-Iqbal, Liaquat bazaar and Jinnah, Prince, Circular, Alamdar and Mission roads and in Marriabad and Hazara Town remained closed.
The strike did not affect work in government offices, banks and educational institutions and traffic remained normal.
DEMONSTRATION: Activists and supporters of HDP held a protest demonstration.
Carrying placards and banners, a large number of people gathered outside the press club and raised slogans against the government.
Addressing the protesters, HDP leaders Azizullah Hazara, Bostan Ali Kishtmand and Mohammad Raza Wakeel said the government had failed in its duty to protect the Hazaras.
They said some forces wanted to create a civil war like situation in Quetta.
They alleged that some elements in law-enforcement agencies were supporting and protecting perpetrators of such attacks.
The HDP leaders criticised law-enforcement personnel and said how could a suicide bomber enter the Aliabad area with a number of security checkposts in and around it.
They demanded action against elements involved in Hazara Town bombings and a blast in a bus of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University in which many female students were killed.