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Pakistan: Death toll in hospital bombing in Quetta rises to 70

9th Aug 2016
Pakistan: Death toll in hospital bombing in Quetta rises to 70

By Aamir Latif


KARACHI, (AA): At least 70 people were killed by a suicide attack at a hospital in southwestern Pakistan on Monday, according to a senior official.

Balochistan Home Minister Safraz Bugti said 103 people were also injured by the suicide bombing in the state capital, Quetta.

The explosion hit moments after a group of lawyers brought in the body of colleague Bilal Kasi, the president of the Balochistan Bar Association, after he was shot dead by unknown assailants in Quetta earlier in the morning.

Most of the dead and injured were lawyers, Anwar ul-Haq, a spokesperson for Balochistan state government, told reporters.

Irfan Saeed, an eyewitness, told Anadolu Agency the blast occurred in the midst of a crowd gathered outside the hospital’s emergency ward. He said several bodies were lying on the hospital floor as staff ran for safety after the blast.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called the blast “cowardly” and pledged his government and security forces will continue their attempts to defeat militants based in the country.

While Jamaat-ul-Ahrar spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed in a statement the responsibility of both incidents and vowed more attacks “until the imposition of an Islamic system in Pakistan.”

The terrorsit group Daesh has also claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, Reuters quoted the IS’s Amaq news agency as saying. “A martyr from the Islamic State detonated his explosive belt at a gathering of justice ministry employees and Pakistani policemen in…Quetta,” the Amaq report said released from Cairo, Egypt.

Law enforcement officials believed that the two attacks were connected and the blast was carried out by a suicide bomber.

They said that the body of Mr Kasi, who was shot dead by two armed assailants, was brought to the Civil Hospital and a number of his friends, colleagues and relatives as well as a posse of press photographers and television cameramen also reached there as soon as they got the news.

Fifty-five of the 70 dead were lawyers, including BBA’s former president Baz Muhammad Kakar, former Supreme Court Bar Association vice president Syed Qahir Shah, Advocate Sangat Jamaldani, son of Balochistan National Party-Mengal secretary general Jahanzeb Jamaldani, and Advocate Dawood Lasi, son of former federal minister Dr Abdul Malik Kasi.

As the number of mourners increased, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the emergency department, killing scores of people.

Two cameramen — Shahzad Khan and Mehmood Khan— working for Aaj TV and DawnNews, respectively, were also killed.

Witnesses said that there was complete chaos at the hospital as bodies lay on the ground, some still giving off smoke, among pools of blood and shattered glass.

Shocked survivors were seen fleeing through debris, some crying and comforting one another, as smoke filled the hospital corridors.

Witness Waliur Rehman said he was taking his ailing father to the emergency ward when the explosion shook the building, knocking them both to the ground.

Another witness, Advocate Abdul Latif, said he arrived at the hospital to express his grief over Mr Kasi’s killing. But he said he did not know he would “see the bodies of dozens of other lawyers there”.

A state of emergency was declared in hospitals across Quetta and several wounded were shifted to other hospitals.

The medical superintendent of the Civil Hospital, Abdul Rehman Miankhel, told Dawn that 70 people were killed and 112 others wounded in the blast. He said that 102 of the wounded were admitted to the Combined Military Hospital and 10 were shifted to the Bolan Medical College Hospital.

In Washington, the White House condemned the attack “in the strongest terms.

“That this attack occurred at a hospital and appeared to target a gathering of lawyers mourning the death of a respected colleague makes it all the more heinous,” spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

The local government declared a state of emergency and prepared to transfer the injured to private hospitals..

*Anadolu Agency correspondent Michael Hernandez contributed to this report from Washington

Additional news from Dawn newspaper


[Photo: Emergency response team members work at side after blast in front of a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan on August 08, 2016.
Photographer: Mazhar Chandio/AA]

One Response to “Pakistan: Death toll in hospital bombing in Quetta rises to 70”

Online Quran AcademyAugust 9, 2016

May their souls rest in heaven.and Allah make well soon all injured person. and bless all muslim


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