QUETTA - Four people were killed on Saturday when a vehicle hit an improvised explosive device planted by the militants in Balochistan’s remote district of Panjgur near Pak-Iran border.

Five people also sustained injuries in the blast.  Jabbar Baloch, Panjgur’s Deputy Commissioner, confirmed the blast in Chedgi, an area near to Pak-Iran border.

The dead and injured were shifted to nearby hospital, he said. After the blast, police and Frontier Corps personnel reached the site and started investigation into the matter.

The reports said some cattle were also killed in the blast. The victims were said to be locals whose identity could not be ascertained. The vehicle was carrying villagers. Jabbar Baloch said it was unclear who planted the bomb and officers were still investigating.

Criminal gangs, human smugglers and Taliban- and Al-Qaeda-linked sectarian outfits also operate in the province.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has strongly condemned the blast in Chedgi, Panjgur and expressed deep sense of grief and sorrow over the loss of lives. The chief minister, in a statement issued in Lahore, expressed condolences and sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for the early recovery of injured persons. He said that recent incidents of terrorism were highly condemnable and terrorists targeting defenceless innocent citizens deserved no leniency. Shehbaz said the entire nation was united against the menace of terrorism and the firm determination of Pakistani nation against terrorism could not be shattered through cowardly acts. The Punjab chief minister said those targeting innocent people and spilling their blood were enemies of humanity and had no religion and would be taken to task.

SCORES NETTED IN BIG QUETTA

SEARCH OPERATION

Sector Commander Quetta Balochistan Frontier Corps Brigadier Khalid Baig said on Saturday that a door-to-door search operation had been launched in Quetta’s Killi Deba and adjacent areas against anti-state elements hiding in the area who were involved in recent terror acts in the provincial metropolis.

Khalid Baig, briefing mediamen at FC Sector Headquarters regarding the search operation launched in Killi Deba and adjacent areas of Quetta for maintenance of law and order, said the law enforcement agencies were successfully thwarting the nefarious designs of anti-state elements.

He said the Balochistan Frontier Corps and police were jointly carrying out operation against people involved in recent terror blasts and target killing episodes in Quetta.

“The hunt operation was underway in Killi Deba, Baloch Colony, Railway Colony, Wahdat Colony and adjacent areas to apprehend the criminals. Checkposts had been established at exit and entry points of these areas,” said sector commander Quetta. Brig Khalid said over 3000 Frontier Corps and police personnel – comprising 208 teams and 208 women security officials – were taking part in the operation.

The area under search operation accommodates approximately 0.1 million population in 7500 houses, sector commander sharing basic information of the area told media persons.

He said finger prints of residing people and head counts were also being verified from National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra), while scores of suspects had been netted in this way.

Traffic remained suspended in the area and people complained that they had been trapped as no one was allowed to leave or enter the area. Fear also gripped the residents after security personnel launched the operation.

Brig Khalid went on to say that anti-state elements were using the area as a hideout after committing criminal activities in various parts of the provincial capital and banned organizations were also carrying out their activities from this area.

In view of the woes and difficulties faced by the people, the Sector Commander said that 2500 food packets had been distributed among the residents and for medical facilitation six medical camps had been established where tests and free medicines were available for the patients.  

Khalid Baig said the operation will be completed within next 24 hours and area will be cleared and afterwards the area will be monitored through setting up nine checkposts and installing 36 closed circuit television cameras.