Blast rocks Yaum-ul-Quds rally in Quetta, 73 killed

At least 73 persons have been killed and more than 160 others injured in a suicide blast at Mezan Chowk during a rally of ‘Youm-ul-Quds’ organized by Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) here on Friday.

According to details ISO headed a rally from Mezan Chowk to mark ‘Youm-ul-Quds’ when the rally that was participated by approximately 2,000 to 2,500 people reached near Mezan chowka suicide blast occurred with a massive bang, as a result 73 persons died, while more than 150 persons including media persons from various TV channels sustained injuries who were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta.

Eyewitnesses stated that security arrangements for the rally were very poor as only few police personnel were seen along the rally-route and any sort of special measures were not observed to ensure protection of the rally.

While after the blast numbers of people sustained injuries owing to stampede in the rally and the victims of the blast were taken to hospital in Rickshaws and other available vehicles owing to shortage of ambulances at the blast-scene.

Following the blast, firing incidents with intervals were also reported at the scene as a checking point of Frontier constabulary was few meters away from the blast scene and panic gripped the city with blast and firing incidents and all the markets of the provincial capital were closed immediately after the blast.

Inspector General (IG) Police Balochistan Malik Iqbal talking to media stated that the rally was taken out by ISO and police had warned for any untoward incident by asking to divert the route of the rally, but the leadership of ISO didn’t comply with the information of police.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani have condemned the Quetta blast and expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the incident. In their separate messages they said that elements who have resorted to such incidents in the Holy Month of Ramazan are not Muslims and are in fact enemies of Islam and Muslims. They said that such tactics would not deter them from their resolve to fight terrorism. They said that government would deal with such elements sternly.

They said that due to effective measures by the government the terrorists have become panicked and are now fleeing and moving to cities and are targeting innocent people.

They directed the authorities to cater to the need of the injured and provide them with the best of medical care.

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