Bloody déjà vu in Quetta


Stocker said diminishing respect for hospitals, medical staff and ambulances is at the heart of the ICRC’s concerns globally and in Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

Stocker said diminishing respect for hospitals, medical staff and ambulances is at the heart of the ICRC’s concerns globally and in Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: In an eerie reprise of a deadly attack on 30 policemen in Balochistan’s provincial capital three years ago, terrorists mowed down at least 70 people, many of them lawyers, at the Civil Hospital on Monday.

Exactly on the same day three years ago, 30 policemen were killed in an identical attack in Police Lines. A suicide bomber struck amidst mourners who had gathered at the Police Lines to offer funeral prayers for a police officer killed in a gun attack earlier in the day.

There are many parallels between the two attacks. The terrorists first attacked a prominent official, and when people gathered to mourn the death, they unleashed a suicide attack.

While in the latest attack, Balochistan Bar Association President Bilal Anwar Kasi was first killed by motorcycle-borne terrorists, in the 2013 attack SHO Muhibullah was shot dead by gunmen.

When a large number of lawyers gathered at Quetta’s Civil Hospital where Kasi’s body was taken to, a suicide bomber detonated the explosive strapped to his body. In the 2013 attack, when mourners gathered at the Police Lines to attend the funeral of SHO Muhibullah, a bomber blew himself up.

While in Monday’s bombing, a former BBA President Baz Muhammed Kakar and Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Ali were killed, the 2013 bombing had left DIG Fayaz Sumbal dead.

In Monday’s blast, two cameramen of private news channels were killed, but luckily, in the 2013 attack mediapersons had had a narrow escape.

In both attacks, the bombers wore suicide vests packed with ball bearings and shrapnel. The only difference between the two attacks is of magnitude. The 2013 attack left 30 policemen dead, while in Monday’s attack the casualty figure was more than double.

Similarly, on April, 16, 2010 gunmen shot dead a bank manager belonging to the Shia Hazara community, and when his body was taken to the Emergency Department of the same Civil Hospital, a suicide bomber managed to get in and detonate the charge, killing nearly a dozen including a TV cameraman Malik Arif.

Though the terrorists used the same modus operandi two times earlier, it is ironic that the law enforcers failed to pre-empt and thwart Monday’s carnage.


Original news : http://tribune.com.pk/story/1158419/bloody-deja-vu-quetta/