One killed and nine injured in south-western Pakistan blast
At least one person was killed and nine injured in an explosion in a market in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, on Tuesday evening, an official said.
The blast – second in the last one week – took place in a small market located on the city’s busy Mission Road where most of the shops are owned by the members of Shia-Hazara community, Provincial home minister Mir Zia Langov told Anadolu Agency.
Hazara community has long been the target of the terrorists in Balochistan, mainly Quetta.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, however hardline Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has long been targeting the Hazara community and security forces in the region.
At least four people were killed and over two dozen injured in an explosion near a police station in Quetta last week.
The large Balochistan province, which is also considered to cover parts of neighboring Iran and Afghanistan is strategically important due to its rich copper, zinc and natural gas reserves.
Over the course of the last decade, the province — especially capital Quetta — has also faced a deadly wave of sectarian violence in which over 2,200 people have been killed.
The province is also a key route of $64 billion megaproject, Pakistan–China Economic Corridor (PCEC), which aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Balochistan’s Gawadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.
With its 600-kilometers long coastline, Gawadar is a key deep seaport currently operated by China, which aims to attain direct access to Indian Ocean via this seaport.
The economic corridor will not only provide China cheaper access to Africa and the Middle East but will also earn Pakistan billions of dollars for providing transit facilities to the world’s second largest economy.