QUETTA: At least five people were killed and 22 others, including two soldiers of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), injured in a bomb blast in the border town of Chaman on Monday.
According to AFP, the number of people killed in the bombing is six.
Security officials said the blast occurred in a busy Mall Road area of the border town.
“It was an improvised explosive device (IED) blast, which was planted in a motorcycle parked near a market,” a security official said, adding that the IED was detonated by remote control.
“Five people, including a 10-year-old boy, were killed and 22 injured in the powerful blast that rocked the entire Chaman town,” Assistant Commissioner of Chaman Zakaullah Durrani told Dawn.
He said the target of the blast was a vehicle of the ANF that was passing through the area at the time of the blast.
“We have received five bodies and 22 injured in the hospital,” Dr Malik Achakzai said, adding that the condition of five injured was serious and they had been shifted to the trauma centre of the civil hospital in Quetta.
Soon after receiving information about the blast, personnel of police, Levies force and Frontier Corps rushed to the area and after cordoning off it launched a rescue operation.
The victims of the blast were shifted to the district hospital in Chaman where emergency was declared.
“Five people who lost their lives were hit by splinters of the IED and motorcycle,” officials at the hospital said.
Several vehicles, including the one belonging to the ANF, motorcycles and nearby shops were damaged in the blast.
Official sources said that there was a threat alert after a border incident took place in Chaman on July 30 in which six people, including a woman, were killed in clashes between angry mobs and security forces.
The police and other agencies concerned have launched investigation into the blast.
Personnel of the bomb disposal squad were called from Quetta who collected evidence from the blast site.
According to a press note issued by Qila Abdullah Deputy Commissioner retired Major Bashir Ahmed, the deceased have been identified as Hikmatullah, 33; Mohammad Shafi, 35; Mohammad Jalil, 58; Abdul Wali, 18; and 10-year-old Mohammad Ibrahim.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Balochistan Governor retired Justice Amanullah Khan, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah and Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove strongly condemned the Chaman blast and expressed sorrow over the loss of lives.
In their separate statements, they termed the incident a barbarian act and said that the morale of Pakistani people could not be shattered through such attacks.
The unity of the nation would foil all such attempts to disturb peace in the country, they said, adding the elements involved in this inhuman act would soon be brought to justice as law enforcement agencies were making all-out efforts to arrest terrorists.
CM Alyani expressed grief over loss of lives in the blast and directed health officials to provide best treatment facilities to the injured in Chaman and Quetta’s hospitals.
Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2020