QUETTA: At least 47 people were killed and more than 200 wounded Saturday when a large explosion shook Quetta, the capital of restive Balochistan province, police officials said.
The explosion occurred near a market at the busy Kirani road area of the city, located close to Hazara Town, where a large population of the ethnic Hazaras community resides.
“At least 47 people have been killed and at least 200 more wounded, the death toll may rise. It was a remote-controlled bomb,” said Wazir Khan Nasir, a senior police officer in Quetta. He said the dead included women and children.
“It was a sectarian attack, the Shia community was the target,” said Wazir Khan Nasir.
“We fear more casualties. We have announced an emergency in hospitals,” said provincial home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani.
Durrani said the bomb was planted near the pillar of a building in the market.
“The building collapsed due to the intensity of the bomb, some people have been trapped inside,” he said.
Officials and witnesses said an angry mob surrounded the area after the blast and were not allowing policemen, rescue workers and reporters to reach the site.
“They were angry and started a protest, some of them pelted police with stones,” said Durrani.
“Some of them were armed and were firing gunshots in the air, now they have allowed police and rescue workers to reach on spot,” he added.
The Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen has called a strike in Quetta on Sunday in protest of Saturday’s blast.
The provincial capital has become a flashpoint for sectarian linked violence, where at least 93 people were killed in a series of bombing last month. A majority of the people killed in the Alamdar Road blasts on Jan 10 belonged to the Hazara Shia community.
It was Pakistan’s worst sectarian attack, claimed by the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.
Later that month, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf sacked the provincial government after relatives and Shia demonstrators refused to bury the blast victims for four days in protest.
The protestors demanded greater protection from the government and military.
Source: Dawn newspaper
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Critiques | Translate
ACL1978 (5775) 2013-02-16 9:44
Hello Muhammad - I'm always grateful for your reportage from Northern Pakistan, even if the news is not always pleasant. It is an important reminder that photography can be a powerful source of information and action as well.
This is a well taken shot - I'm struck by the contrasts, with the cloud from the explosion under the clouds in the sky, each reacting to the light differently. There's almost a pleasant air with the beams of light falling, that when they reach the scene of this destruction, it is jarring. Thanks for this one.