QUETTA: On Monday, a suicide bomber killed at least 70 people in the southwestern city of Quetta and more than 100 wounded in attack, people reached for mourners at city hospital. Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Faridullah,a reporter who was among wounded told, bomber sudden attack in the crowed of the lawyers and journalists, people reached in the hospital’s emergency department to escort the body of a famous lawyer who had been shot and killed in the city earlier in the day.
Abdul Rehman Miankhel, a senior official at the government-run Civil Hospital, told reporters that at least 70 people had been killed, with more than 112 wounded where blast occurred.
Rehmat Saleh Baloch, the provincial health minister said, “There are many wounded, so the death toll could rise,”
Amaq, a news agency of the Islamic state reported, the Middle East-based association was behind the act of violence. Islamist militant violence causes continual trouble but most of it locally-based.
“A martyr from the Islamic State detonated his explosive belt at a gathering of justice ministry employees and Pakistani policemen in the city of Quetta,” Amaq said.
Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a group of the Islamist militant Pakistani Taliban group, earlier took responsibility of attack and believes that in past it was not involved in.
“The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA) takes responsibility for this attack, and torture to continue carrying out such attacks,” said spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan in a statement.
Only last week, Jamaat was added to the United States’ list of global terrorists, activated sanctions.
The White House blames the attack said, “we remain joining with the Pakistan to resolve on the issue of terrorism and across the region as well,” it said in a statement.
Video shows disorder in the hospital in Quetta, as people panicked run away through debris as smoke filled the corridors.
Bodies lay scattered across a hospital courtyard shortly after the blast and pools of blood collected as emergency rescuers rushed to identify survivors.
The motive behind bombing is unclear, but several lawyers were targeted and killed during attack in Quetta, the regional capital of Baluchistan, which has a history of militant and nationalist violence.
Bilal Anwar Kasi, latest victim,was shot dead on the way to city’s main court complex, senior police official Nadeem Shah told Reuters. He was the president of Baluchistan Bar Association.
The subsequent suicide attack appeared to target his mourners, said Anwar ul Haq Kakar, a spokesman for the Baluchistan government.”It seems it was a pre-planned attack,” he said.
Ali Zafar, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, told reporters in the eastern city of Lahore, “we have targeted because we always raise voice for people’s rights and for democracy”, he added we are not just complaints attack but prepare a long-term plan of action.”
Police rope off the hospital after blast, on Monday evening Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif paying visits to the wounded.
In January, a suicide bomber killed 15 people outside a polio removal center, attack claimed by both the Pakistani Taliban and Jundullah, , an Islamist militant group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State in the Middle East.
Monday’s attack was the deadliest in Pakistan since an Easter Day bombing ripped through a Lahore park, killing at least 72 people. Jamaat-ur-Ahrar also claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Quetta, became a base for the Afghan Taliban and whose leader eventually held meeting there in past.
Mullah Akhtar Mansour, Afghan Taliban leader was killed in May by a U.S. drone strike while travelling to Quetta from the Pakistan-Iran border.