A suicide bomber on Friday (16 April 2010) blew himself up in a hospital in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, killing at least ten persons, including a TV journalist (Samaa TV), a DSP, an MNA, and injuring over 35 others.
The majority of dead and injured are relatives and mourners of Mr Arshad Zaidi, a bank manager, who was earlier target killed in the day by sectarian terrorists of Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba. Source 1, 2, 3
TV channels beamed dramatic footage of people running out of the hospital complex after the blast as a cloud of dust rose into the sky. The blast blackened the walls of the hospital and shattered windows. People carried the injured away from the site of the explosion.
DSP headquarters Zahir Shah Kazmi is also among the deceased.
Earlier, a bank official Arshad Zaidi was severely shot and wounded at Mannan chowk who was brought to Civil Hospital at Jinnah Road where he was succumbed to injuries. Large number of people was gathered at this occasion when the blast occurred. The blast damaged the emergency department and nearby buildings. DIG Investigations Quetta has confirmed that eight people have been killed and 35 wounded in the blast. PPP MPA Agha Nasir Shah also sustained injuries in the blast.
Talking to media DIG Investigations Quetta Qazi Abdul Wahid said a suspected head and an arm have been recovered from the blast site. He said it could be a suicide blast. Source
Four policemen, two journalists and a TV cameraman were among the injured, witnesses said. Geo TV reported that its reporter Salaman Asharf was also injured in the attack.
Malik Arif, a cameraman for Samaa news channel, was among the dead. A reporter for the channel said Arif’s body was blown to pieces and his head severed. The reporter said he had also seen another severed head.
The bomber struck when a large number of people gathered outside the Civil Hospital in Quetta to protest the killing of a member of the minority Shia community. A large number of protesters, policemen, reporters and TV cameramen were outside the hospital when the suicide attacker detonated his explosives at around 10.15 am.
Quetta and other parts of Balochistan province have witnessed several attacks on members of the Shia community and non-Baloch people over the past year. Source
Authorities believe there are a number of al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in the Balochistan region who have set-up a de-facto headquarters, known as the Quetta Shura. Source
A suicide bomber attacked a hospital emergency room where Shia Muslims had gathered Friday to mourn a slain bank manager, killing at least seven people including a journalist in Pakistan’s main southwest city, police said. Journalists were at the hospital covering the aftermath of Friday’s morning shooting death of the Shiite bank manager. The emergency room was full of the man’s friends and relatives when the bomber detonated his weapons at the gate, police official Mohammad Sabir said. Source
The nature of the attack is not much different from a previous suicide attack, in August 2008, on the emergency ward of a hospital in D.I. Khan on the mourners of a Shia Muslim who was earlier target killed. At least 32 were killed and 55 injured in that attack which was subsequently claimed by the Taliban. Source
Also, in February 2010, suspected Sunni (Deobandi) militants bombed a bus carrying Shiite worshippers and two hours later attacked a hospital treating the victims, killing 25 people and wounding 100 in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi. In the past, suspected Sunni (Deobandi) extremists also have attacked funeral processions of Shiite Muslim mourners. Source
Don’t twist it BBC. It is not Sunni versus Shia sectarianism. It is Taliban / Sipah-e-Sahaba’s terrorism versus Pakistan
According to a news report by the BBC:
Police say they suspect sectarian violence between the majority Sunni and minority Shia communities. In February 2010, suspected Sunni militants carried out a double bomb attack on Shia pilgrims in the city of Karachi. The militants hit a bus carrying the pilgrims and then targeted a hospital treating the victims of the first attack, killing 33 people and injuring dozens more.
You must correct your understanding of the issue, BBC. The issue at hand is not sectarianism between Sunnis and Shias of Pakistan. What Pakistan is currently facing is the menace of jihadi and sectarian terrorism by the Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba and their affiliates. It is not Sunni versus Shia or vice versa. It is terrorism versus Pakistan.
Taliban spare no one from their terrorism, be it a Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Christian, Hindu or Sikh, Pakistani or foreigner. Their evil ideology of intolerance and violence must be eliminated with full force, clear understanding and conviction.