Blast targeting Shia pilgrims’ bus near Mastung kills 2 FC soldiers

Mastung (near Quetta) – Oct 26, 2013: A caravan of buses carrying Shia pilgrims’ to Iran narrowly escaped a car bomb near Dringarh, Mastung. The blast killed two Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers providing security to the caravan.

According to Express Tribune, Shia pilgrims were en-route to Iran in a caravan of five buses escorted by a van of FC soldiers providing security.   The caravan was stopped by security personnel after finding a car suspiciously parked on the main Quetta-Taftan highway.  As the two FC soldiers approached the car, a huge blast occurred killing both on the spot. One of the FC soldier is identified as Sobadar Farhatullah.

According to BBC Urdu news, Shia pilgrims were in two buses. BBC Urdu provides the same account of the attack as Express Tribune.

The pilgrims were unharmed in the attack and were allowed to proceed to Taftan.

Mastung is approximately 25 kilometers from Quetta city and stronghold of the Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LEJ) and Jaish-ul Islam.


According to Hazara Organization for Peace and Equality (HOPE), AlQaeda affiliated terrorist outfits have thus far claimed responsibility for 148 separate attacks on Hazaras to date, killing over 1300 and injuring over 3000 [ See Google Map of all attack locations ].

The two Hazara enclaves —Alamdar Road and Hazara Town— are under constant barrage of attacks and armed killers patrol city streets executing Hazaras wherever they find them. Other groups find Hazaras easy target frequently abducting for ransom or to force them to sell their valuable businesses for pennies. Currently the 600,000 peaceful Hazara community are confined in an open-air jail – the 4 to 5 mile radius of two enclaves.


About Quetta and Balochistan:

Quetta is the provincial capital of the restive Balochistan province and currently the epicenter of the proxy war fought between major regional and international powers. The main armed factions are:

  • Baloch nationalists (BLA/BLF) -:- fighting against the Pakistani state for the establishment of an independent Balochistan.
  • Baloch-based vigilante groups (Balochistan Musala Difai Tanzeem etc.) -:- Allegedly working with the Pakistani state in targeting the Baloch nationalists.
  • Taliban (Mullah Omar) -:- Mullah Omar and Taliban high command —known as “Quetta Shura”— lives in the government-provided safe havens in and around Quetta city. They are often dubbed by the Pakistani government as the “good Taliban” since the Pakistani government exercises control over them. The “good Taliban” are responsible for carrying several genocide of Hazaras in Afghanistan.
  • Tehreek-e Taliban (TTP) -:- dominates the Pushtun belt (Quetta – Chaman) and considered a major ally of Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LEJ) and Taliban (Mullah Omar).  The Pakistani government considers TTP as the “Bad Taliban” as they frequently targets state security apparatus.
  • Jaish-ul Islam and Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LEJ) -:- Jaish-ul Islam is a relatively new player on the scene and it is not yet known if they are really LEJ in disguise. The LEJ is one of the most violent terrorist organization with a sizable national and international footprint. Both of these, as well as all Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist outfits, are followers of Deobandi/Salafi sects (two of the most extreme strains of Sunni Islam) and receive major funding from Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar.

The situation in Quetta and wider Balochistan is currently out of the hands of the Police and State Government. The Federal Government and its elite security agencies (such as ISI) have shown little appetite to go after the Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist hubs (such as the small town of Mastung where Hazaras are frequently targeted) adding to the allegations by several Human Rights organizations that the elite security agencies of Pakistani government are fully complicit in the genocide of its own citizens.


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