Pakistan: Multiple blasts, gunfire kill 20 in Quetta; hospital under siege

15th Jun 2013
Pakistan: Multiple blasts, gunfire kill 20 in Quetta; hospital under siege


By Syed Ali Shah

QUETTA: At least eleven women were killed on Saturday when bomb ripped through a bus inside the Women University campus in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan.

Less than an hour later, sounds of explosions and firing spread panic and chaos through the Bolan Medical Complex where most of the wounded had been taken.

At least three explosions and constant gunfire were being heard from inside the hospital, where police sources reported eight gunmen had taken positions restricting security personnel from entering the premises of the complex.

According to the latest reports, three soldiers were also said to have been lost their lives in the still continuing gun-battle between security forces and the militants.

Capital City Police Officer Mir Zubair Mehmood confirmed Deputy Commissioner Abdul Mansoor Khan, who was wounded earlier, was also killed by shots to the head and chest.

A journalist from a local television news channel was also wounded with a bullet to his leg.

A DawnNews correspondent reporting from the hospital confirmed the second blast occurred inside the emergency ward of the hospital. The nature of the blasts at the hospital and the extent of the resulting damage were still unclear.

Several people, including journalists and relatives of dozens wounded in the bus blast, were stranded inside the hospital, with reports of up to eight gunmen inside the premises.

Frontier Corps and security personnel were still unable to enter the hospital premises, where exchange of gunfire and explosions were still being heard at frequent intervals.

The exact number of casualties so far was unclear, but at least 12 people have been killed in the attacks in the Balochistan capital.

Capital City Police Officer Mir Zubair Mehmood confirmed reporters that the first bomb went off inside the bus at Quetta’s Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University, killing eleven women.

“The bomb exploded just when female teachers and students gathered inside the bus around 3 pm to proceed for Quetta city from the university,” he said.

The CCPO said that most of the victims were female teachers and students. He said the bus caught fire after the powerful blast.

Mehmood said all of the wounded were rushed for medical treatment to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital, where an emergency had been imposed.

Earlier on Saturday, militants attacked the Quaid-e-Azam residency in Ziarat with hand grenades, destroying the historical monument where the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah spent his last days.

A policeman was killed in the attack on the Jinnah’s monumental residency.

Officials had confirmed that most of the old memorials inside the monument were destroyed, with historic photographs of the founder burnt to the ground in the resulting fire.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for any of the attacks on Saturday.

This is a developing story and will be updated as reports keep coming in.



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