QUETTA, April 16: Four people were killed when an election convoy of PML-N’s Balochistan leader Sardar Sanaullah Zehri came under a bomb attack in Anjira area of Khuzdar on Tuesday.
Sardar Zehri survived the attack but his son, brother and nephew and a guard were killed. At least 25 people were injured.
The PML-N leader is contesting for one national and one provincial assembly seats from Khuzdar and Kalat districts.
The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the bomb attack. In a call from an unspecified place, BLA’s spokesman Jiand Baloch told BBC that his organisation had carried out the attack.
Sources said there were about 30 vehicles in the convoy. The powerful blast took place at a bridge near the Anjira area of Zehri tehsil.
“The son of Sardar Zehri, his brother, nephew and a guard were killed on the spot when their vehicle was blown up,” Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Khuzdar Range, told Dawn. Three other vehicles were badly damaged, he said.
“The blast took place when the bullet-proof vehicle of Sardar Zehri had crossed the bridge,” the sources said.
Some reports suggesting that Sardar Zehri had received minor injuries were not confirmed by officials and PML-N sources.
Commissioner of Kalat division Dr Mohammad Akbar said that an improvised explosive device (IED) planted under the bridge was detonated with remote control, but it could not explode because of jammers in the Sardar vehicle. But the IED hit the vehicle carrying his son Sikandar Zehri, brother Mir Meharullah Zehri, nephew Zaib Zehri, killing them and the guard whose identity could not ascertained till late night.
The commissioner said the district administration had not been informed about the movement of the convoy.
Besides, Dr Akbar said, Levies Force personnel posted in the area were not trained and had no equipment to detect explosive devices. “It is the first blast of its nature in the area,” he said.
The injured were taken to the Khuzdar district hospital where at least five of them were in critical condition.
Interior Minister Malik Habib has asked Balochistan’s inspector general of police to submit a report about the incident.
After the bomb attack, the provincial government strengthened security of Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and deployed 25 soldiers of Anti-Terrorist Force and Levies Force.