Madrassa bombing kills 15 in Quetta
* 48 injured in remote-controlled blast outside Jamia Islamia Miftahul Uloom
* Five children among dead
* Graduation ceremony was taking place when bomb went off
By Mohammad Zafar
QUETTA: At least 15 people, including five children, were killed and more than 48 injured in a remote-controlled bomb blast outside a madrassa near Bank Chowk on Sariab Link Road on Thursday. Majority of the victims were students of the madraasa.
“An explosive material was fixed to a bicycle parked outside Jamia Islamia Miftahul Uloom, a religious seminary. Terrorists detonated the explosive using a remote control,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Qazi Wahid told reporters.
A certificate-awarding ceremony was taking place when the bombing occurred, the DIG said. He said that the bicycle was loaded with floral garlands and police personnel outside the seminary thought it had been brought there for students who would get certificates.
He said death toll could have been higher had the bicycle been taken inside the madrassa. “Police were already deputed in the area where blast took place,” he added. Hundreds of students were inside the madrassa when the blast occurred. The children who died in the blast were aged between six and eight years. According to sources, three nephews of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam General Secretary Senator Maulana Ghafoor Haideri were also
injured. “The ceremony had ended when the blast took place,” a witness said.
According to Bomb Disposable Squad, five to six kilogrammes of explosives had been used in the bombing. Three cars and a shop were also damaged.
A heavy contingent of Frontier Corps (FC), police and rescue workers rushed to the spot. Law enforcement agencies also cordoned off the area following the bombing.
The deceased and the injured were moved to Sandeman Hospital and Bolan Medical Complex Teaching Hospital. “Five children were among the dead,” Dr Muhammad Haider of Sandeman Hospital told reporters. The deceased included Faizan, Muhammad Younns, Pir Bakhsh, Whzakat, Fiza, Haji Inayatullah, Qari Attaur Rehman, Rahatullah, Nazeer Ahmed, Kaleemullah, Qari Hussain Ahmed
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mir Zubair said it was a time-bomb blast.
“There is a law and order problem in Quetta. However, seminaries were not receiving any threats,” he said, adding that despite limited resources police were performing their duty to ensure peace.
“It would not be substantial to comment on this fatal incident,” a senior police officer said. Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisnai condemned the blast. They ordered the authorities concerned to probe the incident and bring culprits to book. No group had claimed responsibility of the bombing until the filing of this report.