QUETTA - At least 13 Shia pilgrims were killed and 25 others injured when the bus they were travelling in became the target of a remote-controlled car bomb attack, in Western Bypass area, on the outskirts of Quetta on Thursday.

According to police, the bus, carrying around 50 pilgrims hailing from Hazara community and travelling from Taftan to Quetta, was hit by a car blast that caused a huge explosion. As a result, the bus and a police mobile which was escorting the bus were completely destroyed and fell into a gorge some 50 feet away from the blast site and caught fire.

Soon after the blast, police and personnel of Frontier Corps rushed to the site while rescue workers and area people started retrieving bodies and injured from the site. The dead and injured were moved to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital and Civil Hospital while some seriously injured were later moved to CMH for further treatment.

Hospital sources said 13 bodies, including that of a woman and a policeman, had been brought to the hospital while condition of some of the injured was also critical. Two children and two policemen were also among the injured.

However, when contacted DIG Investigations Hamid Shakeel confirmed 11 deaths, adding the number of injured persons was yet to be ascertained because the injured were being given treatment in different hospitals. “The nature of the blast is yet to be established, however, the initial reports suggest an explosive laden-car hit the pilgrims bus,” he added.

According to Bomb Disposable Squad, 40 to 50 kg explosives material was used in the blast.

Capital City Police Officer Mir Zubair Mehmood told media persons that due to security threats, two police mobiles were escorting the pilgrims bus, adding, that a new strategy would be devised to avoid such incidents in future.

The blast was so powerful that it was heard some 5 to 10 kilometers away while  a huge thick smoke was raised at the blast site while the pieces of bus and luggage of passengers was scattered around the area.

Fire brigade was called in which extinguished the fire while the bus was pulled out through a crane that caused trouble for the rescue workers to retrieve the dead and injured persons.

“I was in my shop when I heard a huge blast that shook the shop. I came out and rushed to the blast site where bodies were lying and injured were shouting for help. We started helping rescue workers but police forced us to leave the site,” an eyewitness told The Nation.

Hazara Democratic Party has strongly condemned the bombing on pilgrims bus and killing of innocent people, including a woman and children and termed it genocide of Hazara people.

In a statement, HDP said through a conspiracy Quetta city had been turned into a battle-ground where banned organisations were roaming around freely and announced a shutter-down strike while Shia Ulema Council has announced three-day mourning against the killing of innocent Shia pilgrims.

Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani have strongly condemned the bomb attack and directed authorities concerned for immediate arrest of the terrorists.

Bomb rips pilgrims bus apart; 13 deadBari Baloch

QUETTA - At least 13 Shia pilgrims were killed and 25 others injured when the bus they were travelling in became the target of a remote-controlled car bomb attack, in Western Bypass area, on the outskirts of Quetta on Thursday.

According to police, the bus, carrying around 50 pilgrims hailing from Hazara community and travelling from Taftan to Quetta, was hit by a car blast that caused a huge explosion. As a result, the bus and a police mobile which was escorting the bus were completely destroyed and fell into a gorge some 50 feet away from the blast site and caught fire.

Soon after the blast, police and personnel of Frontier Corps rushed to the site while rescue workers and area people started retrieving bodies and injured from the site. The dead and injured were moved to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital and Civil Hospital while some seriously injured were later moved to CMH for further treatment.

Hospital sources said 13 bodies, including that of a woman and a policeman, had been brought to the hospital while condition of some of the injured was also critical. Two children and two policemen were also among the injured.

However, when contacted DIG Investigations Hamid Shakeel confirmed 11 deaths, adding the number of injured persons was yet to be ascertained because the injured were being given treatment in different hospitals. “The nature of the blast is yet to be established, however, the initial reports suggest an explosive laden-car hit the pilgrims bus,” he added.

According to Bomb Disposable Squad, 40 to 50 kg explosives material was used in the blast.

Capital City Police Officer Mir Zubair Mehmood told media persons that due to security threats, two police mobiles were escorting the pilgrims bus, adding, that a new strategy would be devised to avoid such incidents in future.

The blast was so powerful that it was heard some 5 to 10 kilometers away while  a huge thick smoke was raised at the blast site while the pieces of bus and luggage of passengers was scattered around the area.

Fire brigade was called in which extinguished the fire while the bus was pulled out through a crane that caused trouble for the rescue workers to retrieve the dead and injured persons.

“I was in my shop when I heard a huge blast that shook the shop. I came out and rushed to the blast site where bodies were lying and injured were shouting for help. We started helping rescue workers but police forced us to leave the site,” an eyewitness told The Nation.

Hazara Democratic Party has strongly condemned the bombing on pilgrims bus and killing of innocent people, including a woman and children and termed it genocide of Hazara people.

In a statement, HDP said through a conspiracy Quetta city had been turned into a battle-ground where banned organisations were roaming around freely and announced a shutter-down strike while Shia Ulema Council has announced three-day mourning against the killing of innocent Shia pilgrims.

Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani have strongly condemned the bomb attack and directed authorities concerned for immediate arrest of the terrorists.