QUETTA: Pakistan’s unpopular government, which is gearing up for elections expected within months, came under fire today for failing to improve security after a sectarian bombing in the city of Quetta killed 80 people.
The nuclear-armed country’s leaders have done little to contain hardline Sunni Muslim groups which have stepped up a campaign of bombings and assassinations of minority Shi’ites.
Yesterday, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta, which deepened suspicions among Shi’ites that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were turning a blind eye to the bloodshed or even supporting Sunni extremists.
Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, governor of Baluchistan province, said while touring a hospital that the terrorist attack on the Hazara Shi’ite community in Quetta is a failure of the intelligence and security forces.
The death toll from yesterday’s bombing rose overnight to 80, with most of the casualties in the main bazaar of the town, capital of Baluchistan, near the border with Afghanistan.