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Fazlur Rehman escapes suicide attack; three others killed, 15 injured

24 October, 2014

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QUETTA: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had a narrow escape in a suicide attack that targeted his vehicle soon after the JUI-F rally held at the Sadiq Shaheed football ground here on Thursday.

Three people were killed while 15 others sustained injuries in the gory incident. Some of the injured are stated to be in a precarious condition.Fazlur Rehman escaped the suicide bombing unscathed while coming out of the football ground at around 5:30pm after addressing the Maulana Mufti Mehmood conference.

"There was a powerful blast when I left the venue of the rally but I remained safe as I was in a bulletproof car," said JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman. He said that he was the target of the attack but safely reached the residence of a JUI-F office-bearer. The vehicle was badly damaged due to the explosion, he maintained.

Police officials said that a suicide bomber attempted to enter the ground but detonated his explosive-laden vest at the Mecongy Road when the vehicle of the JUI-F chief approached him. This resulted in the death of three persons and caused injuries to 15 others.

Police officials and Edhi Foundation ambulances rushed to the spot and started shifting victims of the incident to hospitals for treatment. All the injured were shifted to the Civil Hospital, where an emergency was declared. Later, some of the seriously-injured were shifted to the CMH. The condition of some of the injured is stated to be precarious, hospital sources told. A large number of people also rushed to hospitals to inquire after the victims.

Eyewitnesses said that there was a huge cloud of smoke after the explosion. The police and law enforcement agencies reached the area and started a probe. Later, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, along with senior officials of the police and administration, reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation.

Heavy contingent of police and the Frontier Corps (FC) also rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. Police officials confirmed that it was a suicide bombing as the head and other remains of the suicide bomber had been found and taken into custody. Officials of the bomb disposal squad examined the type of the explosive material and said that 6-8 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the explosion.

President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and others strongly condemned Thursday's bomb blasts. They expressed deep grief over the loss of lives and prayed for early recovery of the injured.

The chief minister directed the administration to make foolproof security arrangements in the provincial capital in order to ensure security to the people. Meanwhile, Jundullah, a banned militant outfit, claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

End.

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