The Islamic State terror group (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the Quetta suicide bombing that killed at least 20 people according to the Amaq news agency. The gradual emergence of ISIS in Pakistan and Afghanistan poses a massive security risk to the region according to defence experts.
The attack ripped through the outdoor market on Friday, killing at least 20 people – including eight members of the Shia Hazara community and a soldier of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) – and injuring 48 others.
Interestingly, the terrorist attack was also claimed by a faction of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which on Friday said it collaborated with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). However, no official confirmation came from the latter.
Meanwhile, the Shia Hazara community is staging a sit-in on Quetta’s Western Bypass for over 30 hours now to protest against what they term the ‘persistent failure’ of law enforcement authorities to provide them security in Balochistan and across Pakistan.
Apart from police officials, Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove had also confirmed that vegetable vendors belonging to the ethnic Hazara community were the target.
Members of the community, including women and children, set tyres on fire and blocked the Western Bypass, while protests were also staged in front of the Quetta Press Club.
As the protests continued into the night, terrorists then targeted a busy market in the border town of Chaman using an improvised explosive device, martyring one man and injuring 11 others including two FC personnel. Three vehicles, eight motorbikes and nearby buildings were also damaged in the blast.
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