Pakistan: Blast in Quetta leaves 20 dead, Sunni militant group claims responsibility
Islamabad, Apr 12 (IBNS): A blast hit Quetta's Hazarganji market area in Pakistan left at least 20 people killed on Friday, media reports said.
The incident left 48 others injured.
According to local media reports, the main target of the blast was reportedly members of the Hazara community.
The attack claimed the lives of at least eight Hazara and one Frontier Corps soldier who was deputed for the community's security, DIG Cheema was quoted as saying by Dawn News.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Abdul Razzaq Cheema, who was present at the site of the attack, told the newspaper the blast targeted the Hazara ethnic community.
"The attack took place in a [green grocer's] shop. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was planted in a gunny sack filled with potatoes. Whether it was timed or remote-controlled, our experts will tell. Right now they are investigating," DIG Cheema said.
Home Minister Ziaullah Langove, however, later said "a specific community" was not the target of the blast.
"Our guess is that no specific community was targeted. Marri Baloch and FC personnel were among those killed as well. The numbers of the Hazara community were just greater," Langove was quoted as saying by Dawn News.
He also described the blast as a suicide attack.
Qadir Nayil, a Hazara community leader, has reportedly asked the government to ensure more protection.
"We demand more security from the government and all those involved in today's act of terrorism should be found and punished," he was quoted as saying by Dawn News.
Imran Khan condemns:
Pakistan PM Imran Khan has condemned the blast.
"Deeply saddened & have strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Hazarganji market area of Quetta targeting our innocent people. I have asked for an immediate inquiry & increased security for the ppl. Prayers go to the families of the victims & for early recovery of the injured," Khan tweeted.
Deeply saddened & have strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Hazarganji market area of Quetta targeting our innocent people. I have asked for an immediate inquiry & increased security for the ppl. Prayers go to the families of the victims & for early recovery of the injured.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 12, 2019
Sunni militant group claims responsibility:
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group known to target the Hazara community, has claimed responsibility for the incident.
"We claim responsibility for the attack in Quetta," Qari Saifullah, a spokesman for the group, told CNN. "We targeted the Hazara community."