• Fri. Jan 27th, 2023

Army captain among five martyred as multiple blasts hit Balochistan

Pakistan Army troops patrol in a military vehicle. — AFP/File
Pakistan Army troops patrol in a military vehicle. — AFP/File

QUETTA: Four blasts in Balochistan on Sunday left five soldiers, including a captain, embraced martyrdom while 12 others sustained injuries as the country is confronted with a fresh wave of terrorism.

Two of the four blasts took place in Quetta, one ripped through the Kohlu district’s Kahan area while the fourth one occurred in Turbat.

In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that during an intelligence-based clearance operation — which is underway since December 24 — an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near a “leading party” in Kohlu district’s Kahan area.

As a result, five soldiers — Captain Fahad, Lance Naik Imtiaz, Sepoy Asghar, Sepoy Mehran and Sepoy Shamoon — embraced martyrdom, the military’s media wing said.

Describing the incident as an “externally perpetrated threat of terrorism“, the ISPR said that “such cowardly acts by inimical elements cannot sabotage the hard-earned peace and prosperity in Balochistan”.

The military’s media wing said that the security forces remain determined to challenge their nefarious designs, “even at the cost of blood and lives”.

Following the incident, according to the ISPR, a sanitisation operation was launched in the area to apprehend perpetrators.

Subsequently, in today evening unidentified men threw a grenade at a police checkpost in Quetta’s Satellite Town, injuring three on-duty men, police said.

Hours before this incident, a grenade blast across the Shaheed Ameer Dasti police station at Sabzal Road in Quetta left four people injured including a woman and a little girl, the police said.

The bomb disposal squad was called to the site of the blast after reports of another grenade at the site, according to the law enforcers.

The Quetta police added that two hand grenades were thrown on the road of which one exploded while the other was defused.

The police said they were determining the nature of the blast. The injured were shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex Hospital in the city, the law enforcers added.

In another incident that occurred in the evening, a blast went off near Turbat’s Taleemi Chowk area, the police said, however, no loss of life was reported.

The security forces have cordoned off the effective areas and further investigations are underway.

The multiple blasts hit Balochistan as the nation is celebrating the 146th birthday of the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Christmas.

CM, Home minister condemn Quetta blast

Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo has condemned the Sabzal Road grenade attack and expressed concerns for the injured.

He has instructed relevant authorities to provide the best treatment to the injured.

He also directed the director general of police to ensure effective security arrangements in the city.

“Intelligence-based operations should continue against terrorists. No effort should be spared in bringing down the enemies of peace,” the chief minister said, issuing directives to law enforcement agencies.

Home Minister Ziaullah Langoo also strongly condemned the grenade explosion prayed for early recovery of those injured in the attack.

He has also sought the attack’s report from relevant authorities and issued directives to tighten security measures at entry and exit points in the city.

Terror strikes back

In the past few weeks, Pakistan has dealt with terrorist attacks of various natures including the recently thwarted hostage situation by Pakistan Army soldiers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bannu city where the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists seized control of the Counter-Terrorism Department’s (CTD) compound.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that security forces killed 25 terrorists, arrested two and forced seven to surrender in the Bannu operation.

The situation on the southwestern border has also been challenged with intense hostility by the Afghan border forces who have opened indiscriminate fire towards the civilian population near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Balochistan’s Chaman city.

The situation calmed down after authorities on both sides agreed to resolve border and fencing issues through bilateral contacts and consultations earlier this week.

Following these attacks, the country’s civil and military leadership has resolved to confront terrorists and work against their intention to deteriorate peace in Pakistan.

In the wake of the Bannu operation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made it clear that the state would not surrender or bow down before any terrorist outfit or organisation.

The prime minister termed terrorism as a sensitive issue of national security, saying that collective thinking and action plan are needed in this regard.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir said Friday the military is determined to bring peace to the country and break the terrorist-facilitator nexus.

“Pakistan Army will consolidate the hard-earned peace, made possible by the supreme sacrifices of resilient Pakistani nation and LEAs (law enforcement agencies),” the COAS said.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that Pakistan is serious about eradicating terrorism, adding that the security situation in the country is better than it was in 2007.

“Action against extremists is necessary for the safety and security of the people,” said Bilawal, adding that peace is indispensable for economic stability in the country.

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