Dozens of Hazara, a minority community in Pakistan, are holding sit-in protests in Quetta (Balochistan province) as of Sunday, April 14, to protest a lack of security following a deadly bombing in the city. On Sunday, demonstrators blocked the Western Bypass in the city, holding a sit-in protest, erecting makeshift barricades, and setting tires alight. Another protest was also held at the Quetta Press Club. The sit-in began on Friday, April 12, shortly after the attack. The protesters state they will continue their sit-in until the government meets their demands, namely increased protection for their community. Transportation disruptions, particularly along the Western Bypass, are likely in the coming days.
The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for an April 12 suicide bombing in Quetta that killed at least 20 people, including eight Hazara, and wounded another 48. The Hazara community is often targeted by violent extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Balochistan province is home to several anti-government organizations, including separatists and terrorist groups, such as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qai'da, and IS and their affiliates.
Individuals in Quetta, and Balochistan more generally, are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, avoid all protests and public gatherings as a precaution, anticipate transportation disruptions near any protest, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Copyright and Disclaimer