QUETTA : A suicide bomber blew himself up near Frontier Corps’ vehicles killing a female student and injuring 23 people including 15 FC men and six students on Wednesday noon. The blast occurred here opposite Askari Park on Airport Road, adjacent to Quetta cantonment, CCPO Quetta Muhammad Akbar said.
The suicide bomber walked up towards two vehicles of FC which were on routine patrolling of the area, and detonated the explosives belt which was strapped to his body, killing a teen-aged girl student Bibi Shahida and injuring 23 others including 15 FC men, five girl and one boy students and a passerby motorcyclist. The students were injured as their school van was taking them back to their houses and passing from Airport Road when the blast occurred.
Bomb disposal squad officials said that the bomber had strapped five to eight kilograms explosives on his body when he detonated his belt. The explosives went off and sound of the bang explosion was heard at far-off places and triggered fear among the people. Windowpanes of nearby vehicles were smashed as a result of the blast.
FC, police and other agencies officials reached the scene soon after the blast and cordoned off the area. They closed Airport Road for all kinds of traffic movements. The security and police personnel shifted the injured FC men to Combined Military Hospital while the wounded students and a passerby to Civil Hospital Quetta.
A senior police official said that law enforcement agencies had found the head of the suicide bomber, adding investigators would carry its examination. The injured FC personnel have been identified as Nike Sharif, Lance Nike Qayyum, Nike Faizullah, sepoys included Ali Jan, Ehsan, Zafar, Meer Murad, Adil, Rafiq, Kalimullah, Akhtar, Gul Rehman, Ibrahim, Faqeer Muhammad, and Ameer Hamza.
The injured students have been identified as Aasia, Shahina, Abina, Ambarin, Qafiya and Mujtaba while injured motorcyclist has been identified as Muhammad Wali. It is the sixth suicide blast which had taken place in the provincial metropolis while the third in its nature which targeted the security personnel.
In Quetta, the first suicide attack occurred at Imambargah Kalan Hazara on July 4, 2003, the second at Ashura procession on March 2, 2004, the third one took place at civil court on February 18, 2007 and the fourth and fifth suicide blasts simultaneously took place at military check posts here in cantonment in late 2007. Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani and Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi have strongly condemned the suicide blast.
President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday strongly condemned the suicide attack in Quetta that caused loss of lives and injuries. In a message, the President expressed his grief over the incident and said the perpetrators of such heinous crime would be brought to justice. President Zardari also condoled with the aggrieved families of the victims and prayed for the early recovery of those injured in the attack.
Input from agencies