Suicide Bombing in Pakistan’s Quetta Kills at Least 20

Attack targeted vegetable market in Shi'ite neighborhood

A suicide bombing tore through a vegetable market in a Shi’ite Hazara neighborhood of the north Pakistani city of Quetta on Friday morning, killing at least 20 people and wounding 40 others. The death toll is expected to rise as several are in critical condition.

Details are still emerging. There are a number of high-profile militant groups that all target Shi’ites routinely in the region, and it’s not clear which specific one was behind this attack. The attacker was not identified, but apparently arrived on foot, which suggests this doesn’t have to be a large, well-organized group at all.

Shi’ites come to the market at regular times and as a group, with a security escort from police and paramilitary forces. At least one paramilitary soldier was among the killed in the attack, and four were wounded.

Quetta is a hotbed for militant activity in Pakistan. The capital of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, it is also the home of several secessionist groups, more than a few of whom are also Islamist factions that also target the Shi’ite minority.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.