A powerful bomb ripped through a government-run hospital in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on August 8, killing at least 65 people and injuring 100.
The blast at Civil Hospital took place shortly after unidentified gunmen shot dead president of Balochistan Bar Association (BA) advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi in the provincial capital, following which lawyers had brought his body to the hospital.
Most of the dead and injured were lawyers, and included police officials and journalists as well.
A loud explosion was heard as lawyers and journalists had gathered at the emergency department where Kasi’s body was brought for autopsy.
More than 50 mourners were entering the emergency department of the hospital to accompany Kasi’s body when the bomb went off, a journalist who was at the scene said.
Police said unidentified men also opened fire after the blast.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, which struck at the gates of the building housing the emergency ward, on the hospital grounds.
Anwalullah Kakar, the government spokesman in southwestern Baluchistan province, said an investigation is underway. Sarfraz Bugti, the provincial interior minister, denounced the attack as an “act of terrorism.”
A Pakistani news channel reported that one of its cameramen was also killed in the blast. Pakistan’s prime minister has denounced the attack.
Nawaz Sharif issued a statement expressing his “deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives” in Monday’s attack.
He instructed local authorities in Baluchistan province, where Quetta is the capital, to maintain utmost vigilance and beef up security.