QUETTA: A suicide car bombing killed 13 people, including four women, and injured 21 others who were returning from the Gulistan Road Eidgah after offering Eid prayers here on Wednesday. According to police officials, the explosion took place at around 9:42am in the parking lot of Eidgah on the Gulistan Road when hundreds of people were returning after Eid prayers. The suicide bomber attempted to ram the explosives-laden car into the Eidgah, but the explosion took place near the parking lot. The explosion was so powerful that it was heard in the radius of several kilometres.
Reports suggested that the suicide bomber came there driving the vehicle loaded with explosives. As soon as he reached near the parking lot, he accidentally collided with a car and and exploded it some 50 yards away from the Eidgah.
The explosion was so powerful that two nearby houses were damaged and windowpanes of dozens of houses in the area were smashed. Twenty vehicles were damaged and caught fire. Firefighters who reached the spot soon after the incident put out the fire after efforts of several hours.
Limbs and blood of the victims were scattered at the spot and injured were seen crying. The Al-Noor Foundation and Edhi ambulances reached the spot and shifted the injured to the Combined Military Hospital and Civil Hospital, where emergency had been declared soon after the explosion.
Police, Frontier Corps (FC) and administration reached the spot and cordoned off the area as officials of the bomb disposal examined the site of the blast. They later said the vehicle was loaded with 25kg of explosive material.
Police said 10 people died on the spot, while three others succumbed to their injuries in hospitals. The condition of some of the injured is precarious, hospital sources told The News. Moving scenes were witnessed at the blast site and hospitals when dozens of relatives of the deceased and injured thronged the hospitals. A nine-year-old girl was seen crying besides the body of her father.
Police said they had registered a case. Several police teams constituted to probe into the matter claimed to have rounded up 20 suspects in different raids conducted in various localities of the provincial capital.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani strongly condemned the explosion and urged the people to help the government in combating terrorism. Politico-religious parties — Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), JUI-F and others — strongly condemned the incident and demanded of the government to provide security to the general public or step down.