'Jaish-ul-Islam' claims responsibility: 20 Shia pilgrims killed in Mastung attack
[Dawn] A boom-mobile hit a convoy of three Iran-bound buses in Mastung district on Sunday, setting one of the buses on fire and killing at least 20 Shia pilgrims and injuring 25 others.
The pilgrims belonged to different parts of Punjab. The other two buses were partially damaged.
According to official sources, the bomb hit the convoy on the RCD Highway in the Dringer area, some 60km from here.
A hitherto unknown organization, Jaish-ul-Islam, has grabbed credit for the attack in phone calls made to news hounds by its front man Ghazi Haq Nawaz from an unspecified place.
Witnesses and government officials claimed it was a suicide kaboom because the driver of the car had rammed his vehicle into one bus in the convoy.
But some other officials said the kaboom had been triggered by a remote-controlled device. The bomb disposal squad held the same view.
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
Home Secretary Capt (retd) Akbar Hussain Durrani said criminals had planted explosives in a small car and parked it on the highway in Dringer area.
“They detonated the explosives with a remote control when the convoy reached there,” he said.
He said the bus which bore the impact of the blast carried 43 pilgrims and 20 of them were burned to death.
“Their bodies have been charred beyond recognition.”
He said 20 bodies and 25 injured had been taken to hospitals.
He also said a contingent of Levies escorting the three buses had not been affected.According to the bomb disposal squad, 80kg to 100kg of explosives were used in the kaboom.
“The three buses were overtaking the car when we suddenly heard a huge blast and the bus next to ours caught fire,” Hussain Ali, a pilgrim said. He said people in the other two buses had tried to rescue the pilgrims in the burning bus they were deterred by heat generated by the fire.
Officials said some of the injured were at death's door and they were referred to Combined Military Hospital in Quetta.
The bodies were taken to Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta and later to Nichari Imambargah after legal formalities.
Subsequently, the bodies were sent to Punjab.
Source in the BMC said 18 bodies and 23 injured had been brought to the hospital.
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-01