2004 Quetta Ashura massacre

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2004 Quetta Ashura massacre
Location Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan
Date 2 March 2004 (2004-03-02)
Attack type
Hand grenades, Shooting and Rockets
Deaths 42
Non-fatal injuries
at least 100

Part of a series on
Hazara people portal logo.png Hazara people

The 2004 Quetta Ashura massacre is the sectarian terrorist attack on Tuesday 2 March 2004 during an Ashura procession in southwestern city of Quetta, in Balochistan province of Pakistan. At least 42 persons were killed and more than 100 wounded in the attack.[1] The attack took place in Liaqat Bazaar Quetta, almost all of the victims were from Hazara ethnic minority of Balochistan. The incident occurred just after the incident of Karbala Ashura bombings in Iraq.


The Shia Muslim's processions are held throughout world to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain Ibn Ali every year on the Day of Ashura.[1] Like other parts of Pakistan, Quetta city has a notable population of Shia Muslims who mainly belong to Hazara community. In Quetta, the Ashura procession starts from Alamdar Road, where all the Imambargahs gather from around the city mainly from Hazara Town, then the procession moves to Mezan Chowk, where prayers are offered, and Matam was performed then moves to Liaqat Bazaar and ends on Alamdar Road.


The Ashura procession was on its traditional route, when it reached the main Bazaar, three terrorist from top a building, threw hand grenades followed by firing with automatic weapons before they blew themselves up, which left around 50 dead and more 100 injured.[1][2][3]


The police identified the assailants bodies after DNA tests and investigations. They belonged to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), the banned Pakistani terrorist group. The Police arrested a police constable who allegedly allowed the terrorist to use his house to plan the attack.[4]


A mass funeral was arranged the next day.[3]

Response and reactions[edit]

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan condemned the attacks and named it a cowardly act.[5]

The, Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Abdulwahed Belkeziz said[5]

Such terrorist acts can only be designed to incite sectarian (Sunni-Shia) strife and infighting among Muslims and to shed their blood.

The Embassy of Japan in Islamabad issued a press release[5]

Japan is deeply shocked and angered by the terrorist bombings in Baghdad and Karbala, Iraq, and the attacks in Quetta that occurred on Tuesday, causing many deaths and injuries. Terrorism cannot be justified on any account. Japan reiterates its firm condemnation of brutal terrorist attacks, which victimize the innocent. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the victims and the bereaved and wish the injured will have a speedy recovery.

Interior Minister of Pakistan, Faisal Saleh Hayat condemned the attack and said[3]

These misguided extremists want to create chaos in the country.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "South Asia | Carnage in Pakistan Shia attack". BBC News. 2 March 2004. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Global Terrorism, By: Leonard Weinberg. p 213. Published 2009 by The Rosen Publishing Group Inc. NY
  3. ^ a b c "South Asia | Pakistan probes assault on Shias". BBC News. 3 March 2004. Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. 17 May 2004. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Ashura day attacks condemned world wide". Dawn News. 4 March 2004. Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2012.