Suicide bomber devastates Shiite enclave in Pakistan, killing 83

By Nasir Habib and Holly Yan for The CNN

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Pakistani police have revised the cause of a blast that killed 83 people on Saturday, saying a suicide bomber was behind the attack that pulverized a busy marketplace.

The explosion targeted Shiite Muslims in Hazara, on the outskirts of the southwestern city of Quetta, authorities said.

Police now say a suicide bomber, driving an explosive-laden water tanker, rammed the vehicle into buildings at the crowded marketplace.

The water tanker carried between 800 and 1,000 kilograms (1,760 to 2,200 pounds) of explosive material, Quetta police official Wazir Khan Nasir said.

Previously, police said explosives were packed in a parked water tanker and were remotely detonated.

The blast demolished four buildings of the marketplace, leaving dozens dead and 180 injured.

The banned Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack, spokesman Abu Bakar Sadeeq told CNN Sunday.

The assault left some wondering what could stop the bloodshed in Quetta.

Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, the governor and chief executive of Balochistan province, told reporters Saturday that law enforcement agencies were incapable of stopping such attacks and had failed to maintain law and order in Quetta.

Pakistan, which is overwhelmingly Sunni, has been plagued by sectarian strife and attacks for years.

Last month, two deadly suicide bombings in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Quetta known as Alamdar Road killed 85 Shiite Muslims.

Police described that double bombing as one of the worst attacks on the Shiite minority.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi also claimed responsibility for that dual attack.

According to its interpretation of Islam, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi believes that Shiites are not Muslims. The group believes Shiites insult close companions of Muslim’s prophet Muhammad. Therefore, the militant group believes killing Shiites is a justified in Islam.

Families of victims from Alamdar Road protested for several days bylaying their relatives’ bodies on a road in Quetta until the federal government dissolved the provincial government and imposed governor rule.

Although Balochistan is the largest Pakistani province in Pakistan, analysts and some locals have criticized the federal government for neglecting it, leading to instability.

The Shiite community has repeatedly asked for more protection but to no avail.

During the Alamdar Road protest, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf met with Shiites in Quetta, Pakistani media reported. He agreed to toss out the provincial government and putting a governor in charge.

All administrative powers of the provincial government were given to the governor, who deployed paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in Quetta.

 

Pakistanis for Peace Editor’s Note- This attack and the continued attacks on Shiites, Christians and other minorities in Pakistan completely goes against the teachings of the prophet and civilized society in general. We are deeply saddened by this and past attacks and condemn all violent attacks in the name of religion and any other ideology. May God help Pakistan and soon.

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  1. An extremely sad incident. Many innocent people have died and many more severly injured. It’s really unfortunate; shame to humanity.

    On behalf of many Indians, I pray the God to recover the injured people. It’s really unfortunate incident.

  2. “The group believes Shiites insult close companions of Muslim’s prophet Muhammad. Therefore, the militant group believes killing Shiites is a justified in Islam.”

    Does Quran say so? Is Saudi house of Wahabi Islamists preaching Sunni brand of jihad related to Prophet Mohammad’s tribe? If not, then why are they not to be targetted?

    While looking at all these facts, one is baffled in intrigue! I have often wondered, “Shiites, Ahmadis, Ismailis, Bahaiis, Agha Khanis etc are all Muslims or kafirs, and if so, which part of the Holy Book Quran says so? Then it has to be decided for all.

    If you look at the 1971 Pakistani problem in now Bangladesh, They were both Sunni groups, none were Shiites; they killed millions of people, both Hindus as well as Begali Muslims. Unless one glance at the root cause, the problem will never cease. Am I wrong to suggest, “Islam needs a reform for its survival”? It will immediately invite fierce reactions of “Islamophobia”. Unfortunate… I have stopped commenting on your blog for this very reason. Just read them sometimes, commenting is waste of time if it is misunderstood…

    • Syed Ali Usama
    • February 19th, 2013

    kahan hain zardari shaib yeh sab dekhna k bad bhi in ma insaniyat nai jagi doob marien kahen ja k bus hamra Pak or Piyara Wattan chor ka chalay jai humko nai chahye asi hakumat bus sabar ki intha hoe hamri

    • Syed Ali Usama
    • February 19th, 2013

    or REhman Malik shaib ko bhi sath laity jai coz unk liye bhe kuch nai hy ab hamry Wattan ma

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