Suicide Bombing at Hospital in Quetta, Pakistan Kills at Least 63

Suicide Bombing at Hospital in Quetta, Pakistan Kills at Least 70

A breakaway faction of the Taliban in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack at a hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta, which killed at least 70 people, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement, Ahsanullah Ahsan, spokesman for the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militant group, also said its men killed Bilal Kasi, the president of Baluchistan Bar Assn., and then targeted the mourners who had gathered at the government-run Civil Hospital. The group has been behind several acts of terrorism in Pakistan in recent years. The claim could not be independently verified.

Most of the victims were lawyers who had gathered in the emergency ward of Sundayman Civil Hospital to mourn Bilal Anwar Kasi, president of the provincial bar association, who was shot hours earlier on his way to court.

A television journalist was also among the dead, while two cameramen were among the more than 40 people who were injured, many of them critically, officials said.

“A number of lawyers and some journalists had gathered at the hospital,” where Kasi’s body had been brought, said Baluchistan’s home minister, Akbar Harifal.

 

1460962_1280x720

RTSLQO8-1024x683

Witnesses said dozens of lawyers were entering the hospital’s emergency department, accompanying Kasi’s body, when the powerful explosion occurred.

Saleem Shahid, a senior journalist, said by phone from Quetta that lawyers were seen fleeing the emergency department after the explosion.

Baluchistan, a large, resource-rich though largely undeveloped province in southwestern Pakistan, along the border with Iran, has been hit by a long, low-level insurgency by an array of ethnic Baluch nationalist organizations vying for self-determination.

The militant groups regularly attack trains, security forces and government installations, including hospitals in Baluchistan.

They accuse Pakistani security forces of illegal detentions, torture and executions of Baluch civilians, charges the government denies.

Following the blast, the Pakistani government declared a state of emergency in hospitals, while lawyers called a boycott of court proceedings in various cities nationwide.

pakistanedit
la-1470640063-snap-photo

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued a statement condemning the attack.

“No one will be allowed to disturb the peace in the province that has been restored thanks to the countless sacrifices by the security forces, police and the people of Baluchistan,” Sharif said.

 

Check Also

Texas Gunman Broke Skull of Infant Stepson in 2012 Assault

Texas Gunman Devin Patrick Kelley Broke Skull of Infant Stepson in 2012 Assault

Before a gunman entered a rural Texas church with a ballistic vest and a military-style rifle, killing at least 26 people on Sunday, he was convicted of assaulting his wife and breaking his infant stepson’s skull. In 2012, while stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Devin P. Kelley, 26, was charged with “assault on his spouse and assault on their child,” according to the Air Force.