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Pak forms team to probe Hazarganj attack as Hazaras continue sit-in for third day

Press Trust of India  |  Karachi 

A team comprising senior counter-terror officials have been formed to investigate an suicide attack targeting Shias in Pakistan's restive province, even as the community continued their sit-in for a third day on Sunday demanding better security measures.

An bomber blew himself in Hazarganj fruits and vegetable market in provincial capital Friday morning, killing 21 people and injuring 60 others, mostly Hazaras. The Saturday released a photograph of the attacker along with his name and said the attack targeted Shia Muslims.

(DIG) said that a team of (CTD) officials had visited the site of the attack to collect evidence, DawnNewsTV reported.

The body parts of the suspected attacker have been sent to the for DNA testing, he said, adding that the test reports would be handed over to

The did not specify when the test reports would be issued.

Meanwhile, the community members are continuing a sit-in on the main Western Bypass road in to protest against what they term as the persistent failure of law enforcement agencies to provide them security.

The sit-in started soon after the suicide blast ripped through the market on Friday. Women and children are among those who have been staging the sit-in.

The protesters demand an effective security plan to ensure the protection of the Shia community.

visited the families of the victims Saturday and said that his government is taking responsible steps to root out terrorist activities from the province. He also requested the protesters to end their sit-in.

Despite reassurances, the protesters refused to call off their sit-in until all their demands were met, including the arrests of those involved in the attack, steps for protection of the community, and implementation of NAP without discrimination.

Hazaras make up a significant minority group in and most of them live in

There have been similar terror attacks in Hazarganj area of Quetta in the past. The market serves as a wholesale market for fruits and vegetables.

The (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 Quetta.

Balochistan, which borders and Iran, is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 14 2019. 16:20 IST