by Jamil Bhatti
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- At least 352 people were killed and 699 others injured in 27 bomb blasts that ripped through different areas across Pakistan during the first two months of the current year, according to official figures.
In January, 16 blasts which took place in different parts of the country caused 199 causalities and left 380 others wounded while the month of February embraced 11 explosions that killed 153 and injured 319 others.
The worst two of these attacks which occurred in the country's southwestern provincial capital of Quetta targeted the areas dominated by Hazara community of Shia Muslims causing a huge loss of life and property.
The first attack was carried out on Jan. 10 when twin blasts, a suicide attack followed by an atrocious car bomb blast, targeted a snooker club in the southwestern metropolitan of Quetta killing at least 106 people, including nine policemen and 20 rescue workers.
The second worst incident took place on Feb. 16 when a suicide bomber exploded his water-tanker-bomb carrying some 1,000 kg explosives in a busy vegetable market of the city and killed 89 besides injuring over 170 others.
In another terrorist attack on Feb. 2, at least 28 people were killed and 40 others injured when a suicide bomber exploded his explosives laden jacket in front of a mosque when people were leaving after offering Friday prayer in northwestern Hangu district.
These three attacks targeted Shia Muslims community and spread panic among masses triggering country wide protest against the incidents.
Another nastiest incident killed 31 people when a remote controlled bomb rocked a preaching center of Sunni Muslims in the Mingora town of the northwestern Swat district on Jan. 10.
According to the official statistics, the terrorists carried out 27 bomb attacks at 26 targets, killing 311 civilians as well as 22 personnel from security forces and 19 policemen.
Among a total 699 injured people, 654 were civilians followed by members of security forces and police, respectively.
Pakistani army's 21 servicemen and 19 policemen lost their lives while one person of Frontier Constabulary was killed in the attacks.
Hours before the snooker club attack on Jan. 10, a powerful bomb explosion targeted a security check post at the busy Bacha Khan Chowk of Quetta and killed 12 people, injuring 50 others.
Regarding number of attacks, Pakistan's northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan were the worst hit with nine bomb attacks, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan provinces.
The heavily populated eastern province of Punjab remained safe as there was no incident of terrorism occurred during the specific time.
The southwestern province of Balochistan suffered the highest number of causalities of 212 with around 370 injured in five blasts alone.
The northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the second biggest victim with 72 causalities and 150 injured in seven bomb attacks.
In southern Sindh province 22 people were killed and 84 injured in six low intensity bomb blasts.
Out of the total 27 explosions, 20 blasts were exploded with remote controlled device while five were of suicide nature followed by one toy bomb and one landmine blast.
After both the snooker club and vegetable market incidents, thousands of protesters of Shia Muslims community refused to bury the bodies and held sit-in against the massacres across the country, putting their 19 demands forward including the dissolution of the provincial government of Balochistan and a prompt armed action against the responsible persons.
On both occasions, the sit-ins that were prolonged more than 72 hours forced the central government to accept protestors' all demands except handing over the Quetta city to the army to establish peace.