ISLAMABAD, April 12: At least eight people were killed and several others injured in a blast on Friday targeting members of the Hazara community in Pakistan's Quetta city.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Abdul Razzaq Cheema confirmed the toll and told Dawn News that seven victims belonged to the community, which has been targeted by sectarian violence as they are easily identifiable due to their distinctive physical appearance.
The police said that the toll might increase as many of the injured were in critical condition.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal strongly condemned the attack and assured that the elements involved in the attack would be strictly dealt with.
"People who have an extremist mindset are a menace to society," Kamal said, adding: "We must foil the conspiracy to disrupt peace."
A report released by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) last year stated that 509 members of the Hazara community were killed and 627 injured in various incidents of terrorism in Quetta from January 2012 to December 2017.
According to the NCHR, targeted killings, suicide attacks, and bomb blasts have inflicted harm to daily life, education, and business activities of ethnic Hazara community members in Balochistan's largest city. - IANS