Lashkar-e-Jhangvi warns more attacks on Shias in Balochistan

Quetta attacks

The banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, responsible for two terror attacks in Quetta that killed nearly 200 people, has warned that it will continue targeting the minority Shia sect despite the imposition of Governor's Rule in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

"The government should be under no illusion now that the imposition of Governor's Rule in Balochistan has failed to dissuade us from targeting our enemy the Shia Hazaras. We want to make it clear to the Shia Hazaras that they should not consider themselves safe and secure till the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate in Pakistan," LeJ spokesman Abu Bakar Siddiq said.

Siddiq made the threat when he telephoned several journalists to claim responsibility for a bomb attack in a Shia-dominated of Quetta that killed 89 people on February 16, The News daily reported today. The LeJ spokesman, who read out a statement on phone, said: "The mujahideen of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi will continue to kill Shias regardless of the imposition of Governors Rule or the deployment of the army."

Siddiq claimed the attack on February 16 was carried out by a suicide bomber. However, officials are yet to confirm that a suicide attacker was involved in the bombing. The LeJ spokesman claimed his group had 20 more explosives-laden vehicles "ready to hit the enemy". The militants were "only waiting for orders from our leadership" to attack targets in Shia-dominated areas of Quetta. "We are neither afraid of Governor's Rule nor the Pakistan Army and we will continue to kill Shia Hazaras in their homes," he said.

Hazara Democratic Party chief Abdul Khaliq Hazara said the spate of attacks against Shia Hazaras in Quetta had intensified after Malik Ishaq, a key leader of the LeJ, was released on bail by the Supreme Court in July 2011.

Ishaq had spent 14 years in jail for alleged involvement in over 100 murders but was released due to "lack of evidence".

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