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Quetta blast was a suicide attack: Sheikh Rasheed

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has confirmed the blast that took place a day earlier in the parking of a hotel in Quetta was a suicide bomb attack and has been claimed by the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP)

The minister was holding a news conference to discuss the Quetta bomb blast from which killed five and injured 12 others. Rasheed said out of the 11 who were injured, six had left the hospital after getting treated while a few remained in critical condition.

While replying to a question, the interior minister clarified the Chinese ambassador was in Quetta for the past few days and is safe. He rejected speculation that the Chinese ambassador was at the hotel when the blast took place. The minister said a forensic investigation was being conducted into the attack, adding that so far, the terrorists have not been identified yet.

Rasheed pointed towards India’s activities aimed at destabilising Pakistan, saying that during the past eight to 10 days, an estimated 250,000-300,000 social media accounts were created in India.

He said these were efforts to destabilise Pakistan from within “by foreign elements”. “These foreign forces cannot see Pakistan prosper and progress,” said the minister.

Rasheed said the Ministry of Interior had placed all 22 law enforcement institutions under its jurisdiction including the Frontier Corps, Rangers, Coastal Guards and others to remain on “high alert”.

He said Pakistan with the help of its great armed forces and intelligence agencies, will thwart all nefarious designs as well as conspiracies being hatched against it.

When asked about the chaos and anarchy in recent days, Rasheed replied in the negative and prime minister, army and the people were the guardians of the nation.

Four people were killed and 12 others were injured when a blast, which was heard for several kilometres in the city, took place at the parking of a hotel located at Serena Chowk.

Earlier, the CTD spokesperson said evidence collected from the blast site indicates that the attack was a suicide bomb blast.  He said the suicide bomber was inside the car at the time of the blast. He said the CTD was still trying to determine the intensity of the blast.