At least 16 people were killed in a bomb blast that appears to have targeted minority Hazara community in Pakistan’s Quetta on Friday, Dawn reported. Deputy Inspector General Abdul Razzaq Cheema told DawnNewsTV that an improvised explosive device was used in the attack.
Cheema said at least one Frontier Corp soldier was among the deceased that include eight members of the minority community. “The attack took place in a [green grocer’s] shop,” Cheema said. “An Improvised Explosive Device was planted in a gunny sack filled with potatoes. Whether it was timed or remote-controlled, our experts will tell. Right now they are investigating.”
At least 30 people are believed to have been injured in the attack, Reuters reported.
The injured are being treated at hospitals in the area. “An emergency has been declared in hospitals in the city.” Cheema said. “We have arranged transportation back [home] for Hazaras who remained unhurt in the attack.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The community has been a frequent target of the Taliban, Islamic State and other militant groups in the region.
In 2013, three bombings killed more than 200 people in Hazara neighbourhoods. After several attacks, the local administration increased security in Hazara neighbourhoods and ordered security forces to escort members of the community to the markets.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal have condemned the attack. Khan ordered an inquiry into the attack, Radio Pakistan reported. Kamal vowed to crack down on the perpetrators. “People who have an extremist mindset are a menace to society,” Kamal said. “We must foil the conspiracy to disrupt peace.”