Blast on bus kills 22 Shia pilgrims in Mastung

Published January 21, 2014
Rescue workers search the wreckage of a destroyed pilgrims bus after a bomb attack at Dringhar village on the Pakistan-Iran highway some 60 kilometres west of Quetta. -AFP Photo
Rescue workers search the wreckage of a destroyed pilgrims bus after a bomb attack at Dringhar village on the Pakistan-Iran highway some 60 kilometres west of Quetta. -AFP Photo
A rescue worker collects the belongings of blast victims near the wreckage of a destroyed pilgrims bus after a bomb attack at Dringhar village on the Pakistan-Iran highway some 60 kilometres west of Quetta
A rescue worker collects the belongings of blast victims near the wreckage of a destroyed pilgrims bus after a bomb attack at Dringhar village on the Pakistan-Iran highway some 60 kilometres west of Quetta
Rescue workers search the wreckage of a destroyed pilgrims bus after a bomb attack at Dringhar village on the Pakistan-Iran highway some 60 kilometres west of Quetta. -AFP Photo
Rescue workers search the wreckage of a destroyed pilgrims bus after a bomb attack at Dringhar village on the Pakistan-Iran highway some 60 kilometres west of Quetta. -AFP Photo
Rescue workers collect evidence from a burnt passenger bus on the outskirts of Quetta. -Reuters Photo
Rescue workers collect evidence from a burnt passenger bus on the outskirts of Quetta. -Reuters Photo

QUETTA: At least 22 people were killed and dozens injured Tuesday when a powerful explosion ripped through a bus carrying Shia pilgrims in Balochistan's militancy-hit Mastung district.

The bus was coming from the Pakistan-Iran border at Taftan when it was attacked in Dringhar area, on the main Quetta-Taftan Highway in Mastung district, some 50 kilometres southwest of Quetta.

Shafqat Anwar, the Assistant Commissioner in Mastung, said the bus caught fire after the blast. Anwar added that at least 32 people were injured, which included 24 men and eight women.

Provincial Home Secretary Asadur Rehman Gilani said that two buses had been traveling together with security vehicles provided by the government and that the bomb struck one of the buses.

“Two vehicles of forces escorting the pilgrim’s buses were also damaged in the blast,” he said.

Gilani said investigators believed around 80 kilograms of explosives were used in the explosion, though it was not immediately clear what type of bomb was used or whether it was a suicide attack.

“Our priority is to shift the injured to hospitals,” he said, adding that women and children were also among the dead and injured.

Most of the injured were shifted to Combined Military Hospital for medical treatment, he added.

Emergency was imposed in hospitals to treat the injured.

Banned militant group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr Malik Baloch condemned the attack on the pilgrims' bus and ordered inquiry into the incident.

This incident comes only 20 days after an explosives-laden vehicle targeted a passenger bus carrying Shia pilgrims in Hazar Ganji area of Quetta, killing at one and injuring 34 others. The banned militant outfit Jaish al Islam had claimed responsibility for the attack on January 1.

Opinion

Editorial

Noshki killings
Updated 14 Apr, 2024

Noshki killings

It must be asked why Baloch separatists continue to target civilians as well as security men despite large deployment.
Upholding the law
14 Apr, 2024

Upholding the law

THE recent discord in Bahawalnagar offers a chance to reflect on the sanctity of the law and its enforcement across...
Tragic travels
14 Apr, 2024

Tragic travels

FOR those embarking on road and boat journeys, the probability of fatal accidents has seen a steady rise. The recent...
Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...