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IS claims attack in Pakistan's Quetta market

IS claims attack in Pakistan's Quetta market”

Meanwhile, several people protested on the Western Bypass in Quetta for the second day after the attack to demand security to the community and punishment to the perpetrators of the crime.

Quetta is a hotbed for militant activity in Pakistan.

The militant group said in a statement that one of its members carried out the suicide attack, killing and injuring at least 70 Shiite community members and Pakistani troops.

Balochistan Home Minister Zia Ullah Langu gave the death toll and confirmed that it was a suicide blast, saying that two of the dead were children.

At least 20 people were killed and scores injured in a blast believed to be targeting members of the Hazara community in Quetta's Hazarganji market on Friday morning.

Shi'ites come to the market at regular times and as a group, with a security escort from police and paramilitary forces. Images from the blast scene showed burnt human flesh, blood-soaked clothes, damaged vehicles and scattered vegetables and fruits.

"Emergency has been declared at hospitals and it seems people from the Hazara community were the target", he said.

Qadir Nayil, a leader of the Hazara community, asked the government to provide better protection for the Shiites.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed shock at the Quetta attack and strongly condemned "this cowardly act", UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

DIG Quetta Abdul Razaq Cheema told the media that 16 people, including a Frontier Corp (FC) official, lost their lives in the blast which was targetted at the Hazara community.

After the incident, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan called for a high-level meeting about peace and security measures.

Quetta has always been beset with sectarian violence that has claimed more than 2,000 lives over the last decade, according to local media.

"The United Nations expresses its full solidarity with the Government of Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism", Guterres said.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan, where separatist groups have waged a low-level insurgency.



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