News / Asia

65 Killed in Pakistan Bombing

Paramedics and families stand near victims of a bomb attack in a Shi'ite Muslim area, at a hospital in Quetta, Feb. 16, 2013.
Paramedics and families stand near victims of a bomb attack in a Shi'ite Muslim area, at a hospital in Quetta, Feb. 16, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Police in Pakistan say an apparent suicide bomb blast has killed at least 65 people and wounded nearly 200 in the southwestern city Quetta.  Most of the victims are minority Shi'ite Muslims.

The bomb exploded Saturday evening in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province.  Doctors say some of the wounded are in critical condition.

The city police chief, Mir Zubair Mehmood, tells VOA the powerful bomb ripped through a crowded vegetable and fruit market in a part of Quetta dominated by Shi'ite Muslims, locally known as the Hazara community.

“It was a water bowser [mobile water tank], which was towed behind a tractor, and that water bowser was loaded with the explosive material," Mehmood explained.  "We estimate around 800 kilograms of explosive material was loaded in there.  We can’t say definitely, but it appears it was a suicide attack and at that point in time there were a lot of people shopping.”

A Pakistani man comforts another mourning for a family member who died in a bomb blast, at local hospital in Quetta, Pakistan on Feb. 16, 2013.A Pakistani man comforts another mourning for a family member who died in a bomb blast, at local hospital in Quetta, Pakistan on Feb. 16, 2013.
x
A Pakistani man comforts another mourning for a family member who died in a bomb blast, at local hospital in Quetta, Pakistan on Feb. 16, 2013.
A Pakistani man comforts another mourning for a family member who died in a bomb blast, at local hospital in Quetta, Pakistan on Feb. 16, 2013.
The police chief says the explosion caused the collapse of a two-story commercial building in the market, leaving many victims buried under the rubble.

A banned Sunni militant organization, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s bombing.

A leader of the ethnic Hazara community, Abdul Khaliq Hazara, tells VOA repeated attacks are meant to drag them into a sectarian conflict in Quetta and force them to leave the city.

“They provoke us to be involved in a civil war.  We are very peace-loving people," Hazara insisted.  "We never want to be involved in terrorist activities.  We are education-oriented people.  We are peaceful people.  We want progress in the city.”

The Shi'ite leader reiterated a demand for the Pakistani military to take control of the city, alleging the police and paramilitary forces have failed to provide them security.
The Dari-speaking Hazars migrated to Pakistan from neighboring Afghanistan more than a century ago and have mostly settled in Quetta.

Local residents gather at a road as smoke rise from the site of a bomb blast in a market in Quetta, Pakistan, Feb. 16, 2013.Local residents gather at a road as smoke rise from the site of a bomb blast in a market in Quetta, Pakistan, Feb. 16, 2013.
x
Local residents gather at a road as smoke rise from the site of a bomb blast in a market in Quetta, Pakistan, Feb. 16, 2013.
Local residents gather at a road as smoke rise from the site of a bomb blast in a market in Quetta, Pakistan, Feb. 16, 2013.
Saturday’s incident is the second deadliest attack on the Shi'ite community in the city this year.  A double bombing January 10 killed 92 people.  Relatives as well as leaders of the Shi'ite community were so angry that they refused to bury their dead for days.

The protest ended after Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf dismissed the provincial government and imposed direct federal rule in Baluchistan.

The provincial governor says Sunday will be a day of mourning across the province, while parties representing the Shi'ite community have called a strike in Quetta to protest the latest attack.

Human rights groups say sectarian attacks have increased recently in predominantly Sunni Pakistan, where last year more than 400 Shi'ite Muslims were killed.  Sunni extremists view the Shi'ites as heretics and non-Muslims.

You May Like

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid