At least three people, including a leader of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F, were killed and more than a dozen others injured in an explosion that rocked the Chaman area of Balochistan’s Qilla Abdullah District, Chaman Assistant Commissioner Yasir Dashti said.
According to police officials, the bomb was an improvised explosive device which was planted in a motorcycle parked on the roadside.
The explosion initially left Maulana Muhammad Hanif, a central leader of the JUI-F, critically injured. He was being shifted to Quetta when he succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital, Dashti said.
Police said Hanif was the target of the attack. The blast occurred on Taj Road in Chaman, and shattered windows in nearby buildings. The dead include a 12-year-old child, Chaman District Police Officer Shaukat Mohmand told media.
The injured were shifted to Civil Hospital Chaman, where an emergency was declared. Chaman is considered a sensitive town in Balochistan as it shares a border with Afghanistan’s volatile Kandahar province. The blast took place amid heightened security in the area due to a presidential vote being held across the border in Afghanistan.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
Meanwhile, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has announced shutter down strike and protests in Balochistan today over the tragic Chaman incident.
He announced peaceful protests in all district head quarters of Balochistan. He said Maulana Muhammad Hanif was our close companion and member of party’s consultative board.
He condemned the attack on Maulana Hanif and expressed solidarity with the victims. He said the government has failed to provide security to citizens. He asked which fight on terrorism we have won and where is peace.
He said citizens and Ulema are not safe in this country, adding that such incidents cannot derail our brave workers. He reaffirmed that Azadi March would be held in October and workers would march towards Islamabad in a peaceful way.