Death rains on Pakistan
* Around 92 people killed, scores injured in three explosions in Quetta
* 22 people killed in Tableeghi Jamaat gathering in Swat
* Five labourers sprayed with bullets in Karachi
QUETTA/SWAT/KARACHI: Two massive blasts left as many as 81 people, including two media men and four personnel of police, dead and more than 100 injured in the Balochistan capital on Thursday.
According to the details, a massive blast occurred in a snooker club at the Alamdar Road. When rescue teams, police and media rushed to the blast site, a second bomb went off, leaving 56 people dead and 163 injured. A cameraman of a private TV channel and a photographer of a news agency were among the dead, the sources said. Moreover, four rescue workers of the Edhi Foundation and an SSP, DSP and SHO also lost their lives.
A Bomb Disposal Squad team said it would be determined in the morning if they were suicide blasts. However, the eyewitnesses said it was a suicide blast. Soon after the consecutive blasts, the rescue workers, police and other law enforcing agencies rushed to the scene and shifted the dead and injured to the Civil Hospital Quetta and Combined Military Hospital (CMH). The first blast was so powerful that it razed to ground the snooker club building and smashed the windowpanes of nearby buildings.
Several vehicles of private TV channels were also badly damaged in the blast. Hospital sources feared a rise in the death toll. The Hazara Democratic Party has announced a three-day mourning after the blasts. Meanwhile, at least 11 people, including a child and one FC official, were killed and 47 others injured in a remote-controlled blast near Bacha Khan Chowk of Quetta on Thursday. According to the police sources, unidentified persons had planted explosives beneath a car that was parked close to the vehicles of Frontier Corps along the Baldia Plaza.
At least 15 vehicles, 12 shops and three motorbikes were also damaged as a result of the blast. The police said that there was huge gathering of customers at the shops in the Baldia Plaza and adjacent meat, poultry and vegetable markets. According to Bomb Disposal Squad sources, 25 kg explosive material was used in the blast.
In another tragedy, a bomb blast at a religious gathering in Swat valley on Thursday killed 22 people and wounded more than 80, officials said, prompting a probe to investigate possible sabotage. The explosion took place at a weekly meeting of the local Tableeghi Jamaat at its centre on the outskirts of Mingora. “Possibility of a sabotage cannot be ruled out,” regional police chief Akhtar Hayat told AFP. But he added: “We have no clear evidence so far.” A joint investigation by police and army was underway and “we will come to know the exact position later”, he said. “The death toll has gone up to 22,” local administration chief Kamran Khan told reporters earlier at the Tableeghi centre. He said 87 people were wounded, 20 of them in serious condition.
Meanwhile, in Karachi, firing by gunmen on motorbikes near Quetta Town Society, Sohrab Goth, killed at least five labourers, while four others were wounded. Police said that the firing took place at a place known as Hassan Khan’s Dera. The assailants managed to flee while the victims were shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where doctors pronounced five dead, and termed the condition of four men critical. staff report/agencies