30 killed in Pakistan hospital blast
Islamabad, Aug 8:
At least 30 people were killed on Monday in a blast that hit a hospital in Pakistan’s Quetta city following the murder of an advocate earlier in the day, police said.
“The blast occurred when a number of lawyers and some journalists had gathered at the hospital following the death of president of the Balochistan Bar Association Bilal Anwar Kasi in a separate shooting incident earlier in the morning,” said Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Harifal.
Earlier reports identified Kasi as former president of the Balochistan Bar Association.
It is suspected that the bomb attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti told Dawn online.
The explosion took place soon after lawyers arrived at the Civil Hospital when Kasi’s body was brought in.
Several lawyers, including the former president of Balochistan Bar Association Baz Mohammad Kakar, were reported injured in the explosion along with over 30 others and aerial firing could still 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 reportedly killed in the blast.
“This was a security lapse and I am having this personally investigated,” Dawn online quoted Bugti as saying.
He added that the hospital had not received any threats in the past.
Lawyers have been targeted several times in the past few months in Balochistan.
A lawyer, Jahanzeb Alvi, was shot dead by unidentified armed men in the Brewery Road area last week on August 3.(IANS)