At least 20 killed in market blast in Pakistani city of Quetta

Cheryl Sanders
April 14, 2019

Pakistani officials deny Islamic State group (IS) is present in the country, but the group has claimed a number of attacks in the past.

Thirty others were injured and were undergoing treatment.

He initially said that the explosive device was hidden between sacks of potatoes, but, later, he and the provincial home minister, Zia Langove, told a news conference that a suicide bomber exploded his device among the people in the market.

The group said that it collaborated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has been behind numerous bloody attacks on Shiite Muslims in Pakistan.

The LeJ is a Sunni militant group, which has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks against the minority Shia community in Pakistan, including the 2013 blasts in Quetta that killed over 200 Hazara Shias.

The Senate panel also sought a report about the release of activists of the banned outfits in the near past in Balochistan.

Pakistani Taliban militants have been waging a campaign of bombings and other attacks on Pakistani security forces.

Shortly after the bombing, struck near a Shiite residential area, dozens of angry Shiite youths rallied in Quetta, demanding more security from the authorities and the arrest of those behind the attacks. On Friday, the same practice was followed but the blast took place inside. Women and children are among those who have been staging the sit-in.

Violence in Pakistan has dropped significantly since the country's deadliest-ever militant attack - an assault on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2014 that killed more than 150 people, a lot of them children.

Qadir Nayil, a Hazara leader, asked the government to ensure better protection.

Immediate installation of CCTV cameras in Hazarganji market and other public places was announced today.

Almost half a million Hazaras have settled in Quetta since fleeing Afghanistan to escape violence in their homeland during the past four decades.

Abdul Razzaq Cheema as saying that the blast was targeting members of the Hazara community.

Cheema told Dawn that "people from the Hazara community come here daily in a convoy from Hazara town to buy vegetables".

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