Blast occurred as lawyers gathered at the Hospital after the killing of Balochistan Bar Association Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi
QUETTA (Pakistan) – At least 70 people have been killed and 100 other wounded as suicide bomber struck Quetta’s Civil Hospital on Monday morning.
The explosion occurred when a group of mourning lawyers were gathered to accompany the body of a murdered colleague.
The blast was followed by Balochistan Bar Association’s President Bilal Kasi was gunned down at Mano Jan Road. Former Balochistan Bar President Baz Muhammad Kakar was injured in the attack.
Abdul Rehman, the director of the Quetta Civil Hospital, says they are also treating 92 wounded people following the explosion at the state-run hospital.
More than 50 mourners were entering the emergency department of the hospital, accompanying Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi’s body, when the bomb went off.
Several lawyers were reported injured in the explosion and aerial firing could still be heard at the premises. The injured persons were immediately rushed to Bolan Medical Complex and other nearby hospitals.
Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri told that Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was behind terror incidents in Quetta.
Journalists present at the premises also came in the line of fire and the cameraman for Dawn News was severely injured in the explosion. Two journalists, Aaj TV cameraman Shehzad Ahmed and Dawn News cameraman Mahmood Khan, succumbed to injuries.
— Gharidah Farooqi (@GFarooqi) August 8, 2016
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the loss of precious life and ordered the provincial report to arrest the culprits. The premier said no one will be allowed to disturb peace in the province that has been restored due to countless sacrifices of security forces, police and the people of Balochistan.
Former President of Pakistan and President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Asif Ali Zardari has condemned bomb blast in Civil Hospital Quetta on Monday morning. Former President said that the attacks on innocent citizens and the bloodletting of innocent people cannot and must not be allowed to go on with impunity.
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) August 8, 2016
Imran Khan also has condemned deadly bomb blast in Quetta on Monday
Condemnable cowardly terrorists strike Quetta targeting bar president then civil hospital. Even in war hospitals not delib targeted.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 8, 2016
Senator Sherry Rehman tweeted:
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) August 8, 2016
On the other hand, the Balochistan Bar Council has announced three-day mourning across the province.
Balochistan has been experiencing incident violence and targeted killings since more than a decade. More than 1,400 incidents targeting the minority Shia and Hazara community have taken place in the province during the past 15 years.
Social networking site Facebook activated its “safety check” feature after the blast in Quetta, allowing users to mark themselves or others as being safe.
Following the incident, emergency has been declared in hospitals across Quetta.
PM, Army Chief arrive in Quetta
Army chief General Raheel Sharif arrived at the Civil Hospital Quetta soon after the tragic incident and inquired after the injured victims of Quetta blast.
The army chief also directed the authorities concerned to provide best medical care to those admitted at the hospital. “COAS visited Balochistan High Court and offered condolences to chief justice Balochistan and the panel of judges,” Director General Inter-Service Public Relations Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa tweeted.
COAS visited injured in Civ Hosp.Expressed solidarity with ’em.Serious patients shifted to CMH.To chair security conf with civ/mil ldrship-2
— Gen Asim Bajwa (@AsimBajwaISPR) August 8, 2016
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cancelled all prior commitments and arrived in Quetta.
The prime minister is expected to visit the injured and also hold a meeting regarding the security situation in Quetta. The premier is accompanied by his close aides from Balochistan including, Lieutenant General (rtd) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Hasil Bazinjo.