ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed on Thursday confirmed the Quetta blast was a suicide bomb attack, saying that the attacker detonated himself inside the car.
The interior minister was addressing a press conference on the matter. Five people died and 10 had been injured in the blast that took place in the parking area of a hotel in Quetta.
Rasheed pointed towards India’s activities aimed at destabilising Pakistan, saying that during the past eight to 10 days, an estimated 250,000-300,000 social media accounts were created in India. He said these were efforts to destabilise Pakistan from within “by foreign elements”.
“These foreign forces cannot see Pakistan prosper and progress,” said the minister.
Rasheed said the Ministry of Interior had placed all 22 law enforcement institutions under its jurisdiction, which include the FC, Rangers, Coastal Guards and others to remain on “high alert”.
He said Pakistan was a great nation and with the help of its great armed forces and intelligence agencies, will thwart all evil designs as well as conspiracies being hatched in India, against it.
Updating the masses about the casualties and the wounded in the blast, Rasheed said out of the 11 who were injured, six had left the hospital after getting treated.
“The rest are in hospital, out of which only two to three are in a critical state,” he said.
Responding to a question, the interior minister clarified the Chinese ambassador was in Quetta for the past few days and is safe. He rejected speculation that the Chinese ambassador was at the hotel when the blast took place, saying that the diplomat was somewhere else.
When asked whether there will be chaos and anarchy in the country in recent days, Rasheed replied in the negative. He said an elected prime minister, a great army and 220 million people were the guardians of the nation.
“We know how to live and die for this country,” he said.
The minister said a forensic investigation was being conducted into the attack, adding that so far, the terrorists have not been identified yet.
CTD confirms blast was a suicide bomb attack
Five people were killed and 12 others were injured when a blast, which was heard for several kilometres in the city, took place at the parking of a hotel located at Serena Chowk.
Earlier, the CTD spokesperson said evidence collected from the blast site indicates that the attack was a suicide bomb blast.
“At the time of the blast, the suicide bomber was inside the car [that exploded],” said the spokesperson.
He said the CTD was still trying to determine the intensity of the blast.
Security was tightened in the city on Thursday after a powerful blast rocked the city, in which five people died and 10 others were injured in the provincial capital, last night.
When the investigation was kicked off last night after the blast, police initially said explosive material had been installed in a car that had been detonated.
The Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) had said 40-50kgs of explosives were used in the blast.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Division Moeed Yousaf on Thursday tweeted about the Quetta bomb blast, saying Pakistan will “remain resolute and steadfast in the face of any enemy nexus that seeks to rekindle terrorism”.
‘PM worked all night’
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office has directed the Interior Ministry to investigate every aspect of the blast and get to the bottom of the matter.
According to a spokesperson, the premier had been monitoring the Quetta blast updates till late last night.
Expressing deep sorrow, the premier had said he is deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives in the “condemnable and cowardly terrorist attack in Quetta”.
“Our nation has made great sacrifices in defeating terrorism and we will not allow this scourge to rise again. We remain alert to all internal & external threats,” read the prime minister’s tweet.