30 dead as blast hits Quetta Civil Hospital QUETTA: At least 30 people were killed following a loud explosion inside the Civil Hospital here on Monday, police said. Over 30 people have been injured in the attack.
“The blast occurred after a number of lawyers and some journalists had gathered at the hospital following the death of the president of the Balochistan Bar Association in a separate shooting incident early this morning,” said Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Harifal.
It is suspected that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti told DawnNews.
What we know so far
- Loud blast inside Quetta’s Civil Hospital
- At least 30 people killed, over 30 injured
- Attack may have been carried out by suicide bomber
- Blast followed killing of senior lawyer in Quetta
- Most of the injured are lawyers
More than 50 mourners were entering the emergency department of the hospital, accompanying Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi’s body, when the bomb went off, Faridullah, a journalist who was at the scene, told Reuters.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Several lawyers including the former president of Balochistan Bar Association Baz Mohammad Kakar were reported injured in the explosion and aerial firing could be heard at the premises.
TV reports said people exited the hospital in a state of chaos.
Journalists present at the premises also came in the line of fire and the cameraman for DawnNews was severely injured in the explosion. Shahzad Khan, a cameraman associated with Aaj TV, was killed in the blast.
Police surrounded the hospital and cordoned off the area after the blast. An emergency has been declared in hospitals across Quetta and several injured are being shifted to these for treatment.
“This was a security lapse and I am having this personally investigated,” Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said.
He added that the hospital had not received any threats in the past.
Following the blast in Quetta, Inspector General (IG) police A.D. Khawaja issued a high security alert across Sindh.
Lawyers have been targeted several times in the last few months in Balochistan.
A lawyer, Jahanzeb Alvi, was shot dead by unknown armed men in the Brewery road area last week on Aug 3.
Advocate Bilal Kasi, who himself was shot dead today, had strongly condemned the murder of Advocate Alvi and announced two days’ boycott of courts proceedings.
The principal of University of Balochistan’s law college, Barrister Amanullah Achakzai, was also shot dead by unknown assailants on Spini Road here in June.
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.
The largest province of the country by area, is home to a low-level insurgency by ethnic Baloch separatists. Al Qaeda-linked and sectarian militants also operate in the region.
The province shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran.