April 19, 2019

IS claims responsibility for attack in Pakistans Quetta

15 April 2019, 06:43 | Devin Moran

Members of the bomb disposal unit survey the site after the blast at a vegetable market in Quetta

Members of the bomb disposal unit survey the site after the blast at a vegetable market in Quetta

"I have confirmation of 16 martyrs - eight belong to the Hazara community, seven others who worked here, and one is from the Frontier Constabulary", city police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema told reporters.

Reports said that about 200 people on April 14 blocked traffic in a key artery leading into Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province, chanting slogans such as "Stop killing Hazara" and "Down with terrorism and sectarianism".

Minority Shi'ite Hazaras blocked traffic in a sit-in protest for a third day in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on Sunday after a suicide bomb killed 19 people in an outdoor market, many of them ethnic Hazaras.

Speaking to the media after the blast, Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove had said the vegetable vendors belonging to the ethnic Haraza community were the target.

Pakistani officials deny Islamic State group (IS) is present in the country, but the group has claimed a number of attacks in the past.

"This horrific loss of life is a painful reminder of the threats that Quetta's Hazara community continues to face".

Meanwhile, the Hazara community members are continuing a sit-in on the main Western Bypass road in Quetta to protest against what they term as the persistent failure of law enforcement agencies to provide them security.

People offer prayers and wait to bury the bombing victims at a funeral in Quetta, Pakistan.

However, the Taliban claimed join responsibility for the bombing with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has also assaulted the Shia community.

After a series of attacks, security forces started escorting Hazara buses to the market. The community has been targeted many times in recent years by Sunni militant groups. "Each time there are promises that more will be done to protect them, and each time those promises have failed to materialize", Omar Waraich, an official of Amnesty International, said in a statement.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal condemned the attack and assured that the elements involved in the attack and those leading them would be proceeded against.

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