This terror attack was on a hospital. It happened at a time when mourners were gathering at the hospital hearing the news of gunning down of a lawyer. Most of them killed were lawyers. Police say it might have been a suicide attack.
This happened in the biggest civil hospital in Quetta, the capital,of troubled Balochistan province. Balochistan has a history of lingering separatist problem and also Islamist violence. No one has claimed responsibility yet.
At least 63 people were killed and over 40 others were injured when a bomb exploded inside Quetta’s Civil Hospital on Monday.
The blast, followed by firing, occurred as mourners gathered at the hospital after president of Balochistan Bar Association Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Quetta.
Television footage from the site showed scenes of chaos, with panicked mourners fleeing through debris as smoke filled the corridors of the hospital’s emergency ward.
Kasi was targeted by two unidentified gunmen who opened fire on his car near Quetta’s Mengal Chowk on Mannu Jan road. The bar association president was shifted to Civil Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries.
The subsequent suicide attack appeared to target his mourners, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, a spokesperson for the Balochistan government, said. “It seems it was a pre-planned attack,” he said.
More than 50 mourners, including lawyers and journalists were entering the emergency department of the hospital, accompanying Kasi’s body, when the bomb went off, Faridullah, a journalist who was at the scene, told Reuters.
Targeted killings have become increasingly common in Quetta, the capital of a province that has seen rising violence linked to a separatist insurgency as well as sectarian tensions and rising crime. Quetta has also long been a stronghold of the Afghan Taliban. The motive behind Monday’s attacks, however, was unclear.
Another terror strike…scores of bodies….hundreds of bereaved friends and family members ! Sorry tale of a dysfunctional state.
So very, very sad. The pain on the faces in the photo.
Arun, thanks for posting on the news, even if it is often extremely unsettling.