Bomb attack kills
politician in Hub city,
BLA accepts responsibility,
two guards of Shah injured

Agha Habib Shah

ISLAMABAD: A local politician was killed and two Levies guards were injured in a bomb attack in Hub city of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, police said on Sunday.   

Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan in terms of land area, has long been marred by a separatist insurgency and sectarian divides that have claimed hundreds of lives. 

Sunday’s attack killed a senior member of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), the ruling party in the province, while two of his guards were injured, according to Hub Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ayoub Achakzai. 

“Agha Habib Shah, a tribal notable and political leader, was targeted when he was traveling on the Quetta-Karachi highway,” SSP Achakzai told Arab News.   

The official said the wounded persons were shifted to a hospital in Karachi, but Shah succumbed to his wounds. His guards were currently under treatment. 

The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack on Shah.  Hub Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Younus Raza said the police were investigating the attack and that it could be linked to a previous one.   

Car damaged in bomb blast in which Agha Habib Shah was severely injured and according to Arab News, later succumbed to injuries.

“The modus operandi of the blast indicates that unknown terrorists planted a magnet bomb inside Shah’s vehicle,” DSP Raza told Arab News. “In previous attacks [as well], they targeted people in Balochistan with magnet explosive devices.” 

Baloch separatists often target security forces and political leaders in the restive province, which shares a long and porous border with Afghanistan and Iran.   

Pakistani rescue workers and volunteers help to remove victims at the site of a suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Feb. 17, 2020.

In October 2021, the BLA had claimed responsibility for killing a journalist in Hub. The journalist was killed in a blast that authorities later discovered was carried out using a similar device.   

Balochistan Home Minister Meer Zia Langove, who is also a member of BAP, condemned the Hub attack and directed law enforcement agencies to hunt down the ones behind it.