A suicide bomber killed 30 people, including at least 21 policemen, at a funeral in Pakistan’s southern provincial capital of Quetta. Nine of the bodies have yet to be identified, and officials said the death toll may rise. From Dawn:
“So far we can confirm 21 police personnel, including senior police officials, have been killed. Nine other victims are yet to be identified,” Inspector General Mushtaq Sukhera told a press conference. “I can confirm 40 people have been injured.”
Sukhera confirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. “The death toll may rise because the condition of most of the injured is critical,” he said.
According to reports, the suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside the mosque in Quetta’s Police Lines area where the funeral procession of station house officer Mohibullah was being held. The bomb went off as senior officers prepared to offer prayers for their colleague.
Four senior police officials are reported to have been killed in the blast:
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police Operations Fayyaz Sumbal, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Headquarters Shamsuddin and Superintendent Ali Mehr were among the senior police officials killed in the bombing.
Sukhera said among the senior officials killed were one DIG and three DSPs.
Although no group has claimed credit for the attack, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is likely to be the primary suspect. Other suspects would of course include the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and al Qaeda. All of these groups have executed suicide bombings in Quetta in the past.
On June 16, the al Qaeda and Taliban-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed credit for a suicide bombing and subsequent assault on female Pakistani university students in Quetta. A female suicide bomber carried out one of the attacks; at least 25 people were killed in the bombing on a bus and the blast and assault at a hospital.
The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Taliban, and IMU routinely conduct suicide attacks at mosques, funerals, hospitals, and schools in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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