2 dead, 24 injured in blast in Quetta’s Baleli area, says police

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Quetta blast

Quetta: 2 people, including a policeman and a civilian, were killed in a heavy blast reported early on Wednesday in the Baleli area of Quetta.

According to police reports, around 24 people, including 20 policemen and 4 civilians, were injured. Those who sustained injuries were shifted to the nearest hospitals.

According to the initial reports, the explosion occurred when a truck of the Balochistan Constabulary was passing nearby.

Quetta Deputy Inspector-General Ghulam Azfar Mahesar, while talking to the media, said that 20 to 25 kilograms of explosives were used in the suicide attack.

TTP claims responsibility

After the attack, the banned militant outfit, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack came just two days after the TTP called off the ceasefire agreed with the government in June and ordered its militants to stage attacks across the country.

TTP ends ceasefire, to ‘carry out attacks in entire country’

“As military operations are ongoing against mujahideen in different areas […] so it is imperative for you to carry out attacks wherever you can in the entire country,” the statement said while addressing its militants. The decision, it stated, was taken after “a series of non-stop attacks were launched by the military organisations in Bannu’s Lakki Marwat district”.

The banned group said it had repeatedly warned the people of Pakistan and “continued to be patient so that the negotiation process is not sabotaged at least by us.”

Condemnation

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack on the police vehicle assigned to protect the polio team in Baleli. He also issued special directives to investigate the incident. The Prime Minister also instructed to provide the best medical facilities to the injured.

PM Shehbaz said: “The polio workers are fulfilling their responsibility without caring about their lives to eliminate this deadly disease from the country.” For this, he said we pay tributes to their services.

Eliminating polio virus from the country is among the top priorities of the government. He said the government will not rest until the complete eradication of polio.