MAULANA Mohammad Hanif
MAULANA Mohammad Hanif

QUETTA: A senior leader of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Mohammad Hanif and two others including a young boy were killed and at least 11 others were injured when a motorbike bomb explosion ripped through the main bazaar of Chaman, the border town in Qilla Abdullah district, on Saturday.

“It was an improvised explosive device planted in the motorbike which was detonated with remote control when the Maulana was coming out of a building,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shoukat Mohmand told Dawn.

As the motorbike was parked close to a business centre on the busy Taj Road, the blast shattered windowpanes of the nearby buildings and damaged some shops and other vehicles.

SSP Mohmand was of the opinion that the JUI-F deputy secretary general was targeted in the bomb attack. Two people, later identified as 12-year-old Abdul Bari and Izzatullah, were killed on the spot while 12 others, including the Maulana, were wounded, the officer added.

Call for shutdown across Balochistan today against bomb attack

The injured include Mohammad Haroon, Asghar Khan, Mohammad Arif, Gull Muhammad, Matiullah, Ahmedullah, Mehboob, Daro Khan, Obaidullah and Abdullah.

Security forces along with rescue workers rushed to the blast site. The victims were immediately shifted to the district hospital in Chaman.

“Initially, we received two bodies and eight injured, including JUI-F leader, at the Chaman hospital,” a senior hospital official told Dawn. As the Maulana’s condition was critical, he was referred to hospital in Quetta after being provided initial treatment, the official said, explaining that he had suffered multiple injuries with the splinters of the explosive device and parts of motorcycle.

However, he died while being shifted to Quetta hospital, the official sources said. They said the condition of three other injured victims was also said to be serious. They, too, had been referred to the trauma centre of Civil Hospital, Quetta.

While no group or organisation had claimed responsibility for the attack, a search operation was launched in the vicinity by the Frontier Corps and police personnel to trace the culprits.

Terming the death of Maulana Hanif a great loss of Balochistan, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Kahn Alyani strongly condemned the killing of JUI-F leader and two other people. He expressed the hope that law enforcement agencies would bring the elements involved in the inhuman act to the task very soon.

He said that government was taking all possible steps to protect the life and priority of the people.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Zia Langove also condemned the blast and said that such acts showed that the enemies of Pakistan could not bear its prosperity. “These terrorists are enemies of humanity and deserve no mercy,” the minister said.

Later, the JUI-F Balochistan and traders’ organisations gave a call for complete shutdown across Balochistan, including the provincial capital Quetta, for Sunday against the killing of Maulana Hanif and other innocent people.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2019