In what is suspected to be a suicide attack, at least 53 people were killed and over 100 injured when a bomb ripped through a government-run hospital in Quetta in Pakistan’s restive southwestern Balochistan province on August 8.
The incident occurred when several lawyers and journalists had gathered at the emergency department of the Civil Hospital where the body of president of Balochistan Bar Association (BA) Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi was brought for the autopsy. Kasi was shot dead earlier in the morning while he was on his way to his office. Nearly 100 lawyers had gathered at the Quetta Civil Hospital to express their grief.
Most of the dead and injured were lawyers, police officials, and journalists, according to eyewitnesses who were quoted as saying in reports.
Head of the country’s main association of lawyers Ali Zafar condemned the blast as “an attack on justice.” He said lawyers will observe three days of mourning and will not appear in court in solidarity with their colleagues and others killed in the attack.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti while condemning the attack said, “This was a security lapse and I am having this personally investigated.”
It is suspected that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, Bugti added
Police and a heavy contingent of Frontier Corps had cordoned off the area.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also expressed his “deep grief and anguish” over in the attack.
“No one will be allowed to disturb the peace in the province that has been restored thanks to the countless sacrifices by the security forces, police and the people of Baluchistan,” he said in a statement.