QUETTA: Two policemen were martyred and 21 others, including 12 policemen, suffered injuries in a motorcycle bomb blast at Hali Road roundabout, near Balochistan Assembly and High Court, on Sunday.
Police officials said that the miscreants had targeted a police van carrying policemen who were returning to Police Lines after completing their traffic duty in the area.
“Terrorists had parked an explosive-rigged motorcycle near the roundabout and detonated it with remote control when the police van reached there,” Liaquat Shahwani, spokesman for the Balochistan government, told Dawn.
The injured included nine civilians who were passing through the area. The police van caught fire which was brought under control by fire brigade,” officials said.
Police and personnel of Frontier Corps shifted the bodies and the injured to the civil hospital where emergency was declared.
“We have received two bodies and 11 injured in the civil hospital,” Dr Wasim Baig, spokesman for the health department, said, adding the condition of at least two injured was serious.
Counter Terrorism Department officials collected evidences from the site.
Deputy Inspector General of Quetta police Azhar Akram said, “There was a threat and police were alert.”
No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb blast.
The lawyers’ community was observing ‘lawyers martyrdom day’ when the latest blast was took place in Quetta. Around 72 people, including 54 senior lawyers and photo journalists, were killed on Aug 8, 2016 in a suicide attack at the civil hospital where lawyers had gathered after killing of their colleague Bilal Anwar Kasi.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan has condemned the incident and said that terrorists wanted to destroy peace of Balochistan. “We will never allow terrorists to succeed in their nefarious designs.” He vowed.
He said that the people of the province stood with the security forces to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.
The chief minister sought a report on the incident from the relevant authorities and directed the civil hospital management to provide the best possible health facilities to the injured.
Denouncing the incident, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said that the government must put in place measures to ensure the safety of lives and property of the people.
He said that under prevailing circumstances, measures to maintain law and order must be reassessed.
“Balochistan has been wrecked by ethnic, sectarian, militant and separatist violence fed by a potpourri of groups,” he said.
Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2021