QUETTA: Two policemen were martyred and 21 others, including 12 policemen, were injured in a motorcycle bomb explosion at the Hali Road roundabout near the Balochistan Assembly and High Court on Sunday.
Police officials said the perpetrators targeted a police van carrying officers returning to police lines after completing their traffic service in the area.
“Terrorists parked an explosives-rigged motorcycle near the roundabout and detonated it with a remote control when the police van got there,” Balochistan government spokesperson Dawn Liaquat Shahwani told Dawn.
The injured included nine civilians crossing the area. The police van caught fire which was brought under control by firefighters, ”officials said.
Police and Frontier Corps personnel transferred the bodies and the injured to the civilian hospital where the emergency was declared.
“We received two bodies and 11 injured at the civilian hospital,” said Dr Wasim Baig, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, adding that at least two injured were in serious condition.
Officials from the Counterterrorism Department collected evidence at the site.
Quetta Police Deputy Inspector General Azhar Akram said: “There was a threat and the police were on alert.”
No one claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The lawyer community was observing “Lawyers Martyr Day” when the last explosion took place in Quetta. About 72 people, including 54 senior lawyers and photojournalists, were killed on August 8, 2016 in a suicide bombing at the civilian hospital where lawyers gathered after the murder of their colleague Bilal Anwar Kasi.
Meanwhile, Balochistan’s Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan condemned the incident and said terrorists wanted to destroy the peace in Balochistan. “We will never allow terrorists to succeed in their nefarious designs. He swore.
He said the people of the province stand alongside the security forces to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.
The chief minister requested a report on the incident from the relevant authorities and asked the management of the civilian hospital to provide the best possible health facilities to the injured.
Denouncing the incident, National Assembly opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif said the government must put in place measures to ensure the safety of the lives and property of the people.
He said that under the current circumstances, measures to maintain public order must be reassessed.
“Baluchistan has been ravaged by ethnic, sectarian, militant and separatist violence fueled by a medley of groups,” he said.
Posted in Dawn, August 9, 2021