At least 20 people including two children were martyred after an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Quetta on Friday.
The death toll was confirmed by DIG Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema.
One Frontier Corps soldier was also martyred in the blast in Quetta while 48 others, including eight security personnel, were injured.
“The IED was concealed in a sack of potatoes,” said the DIG.
The bomb detonated near a site where produce was being loaded for distribution around the market.
“I was loading a small truck and I heard a huge bang and it seemed as if the earth beneath me had shaken and I fell down,” said Irfan Khan, a labourer, from his hospital bed.
Security forces cordoned the area after the blast in Quetta and the injured were shifted to nearby hospitals for medical treatment. The DIG further said that 11 bodies were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta while three were moved to Bolan Medical Centre.
Since 2012, attacks against the ethnic Hazara community, have been on the rise. Hazara casualties include everyone from students and government employees to sportsmen.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and sought a report from the authorities. He directed the government to ensure the injured received the best medical care available.
Deeply saddened & have strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Hazarganji market area of Quetta targeting our innocent people. I have asked for an immediate inquiry & increased security for the ppl. Prayers go to the families of the victims & for early recovery of the injured.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 12, 2019
Condemnations pour in:
Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with the victims. He promised swift action against the perpetrators of the incident and directed authorities to ensure the injured were provided quality medical treatment.
Governor Balochistan Amanullah Khan Yasinzai also condemned the attack and urged the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to increase security and arrest the terrorist elements.
President Arif Alvi, Home Minister Zia Lango, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ahsan Iqbal also condemned the incident.
President Dr. Arif Alvi has expressed his deep sense of shock and sorrow at the loss of precious lives in Quetta blast.
He said that it was heinous act of terrorism, which is a reminder for us as nation that few remnants of this menace are still left to be eliminated totally.
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) April 12, 2019
Condemn the terrorist attack in #Quetta. The government must stop dragging its feet & take action to counter violent extremism. Thoughts and prayers with the families of the victims.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) April 12, 2019
Extremely saddened to hear Quetta blast news. Strongly condemn this attack. Govt must ensure those behind this attack are brought to justice. Prayers for the departed souls
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) April 12, 2019