Quetta suicide attack claimed over 70 lives, leaves over 112 injured.
A mere hours after a prominent lawyer was gunned down, over 70 people were killed in a suicide attack at the hospital where the body was taken. Quetta suicide attack on Monday injured at least 112 others according to the Health Minister of Baluchistan. Many that died were believed to be lawyers who were gathered at the hospital to mourn the death of lawyer Bilal Kasi, who was gunned down earlier the same day. Quetta suicide attack took place at around 9:30 a.m. local time in the emergency ward of the Civil Hospital.
Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also referred to as the Pakistan Taliban have claimed responsibility for Quetta suicide attack. TTP also confirmed that they were orchestrated Kasi’s death. The lawyer gunned down earlier on Monday was the President of the Baluchistan Bar Association. The American Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale, in a statement, said,
This brutal and senseless attack on civilians, so many of them lawyers working to bring justice to their country, will not undermine one of the most important pillars of Pakistan’s democracy and civil society.
Condemning the Quetta suicide attack the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif directed the authorities to maintain constant vigilance. He said,
No one will be allowed to disturb peace in the province that has been restored due to countless sacrifices of security forces, police and the people of Baluchistan.
TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said that the group targeted Kasi, the other lawyers and the journalists. He stated that the suicide bombers vow that such attacks would continue. The same group was responsible for a suicide blast in an amusement park in Lahore earlier this year that left 69 people dead. CNN’s Sophia Saifi in Islamabad said,
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The Pakistani Taliban are known for their extremely bloody attacks. They were responsible for the deadliest attack in the country earlier this year when a children’s amusement park was targeted. They’re known for targeting soft targets – churches, amusement parks, and now we see a hospital where lawyers were killed.. These victims were the young crème de la crème of this country – the doctors, the lawyers, the journalists and cameramen who have lost their lives today in a horrific attack.