Dozens killed in Pakistan hospital bomb explosion

Aug 08, 2016, 4:54 AM EDT
Pakistani Taliban
(Source: SeHi/flickr)

At least 42 people were killed and dozens of others injured after a powerful bomb went off at a hospital in Pakistan’s south-western city of Quetta. The explosion took place when mourners, mostly lawyers and journalists, had assembled to accompany the body of Bilal Anwar Kasi, a prominent lawyer, who was shot dead in the city earlier on Monday. The authorities said that the motive of the attack remained unclear as no group claimed responsibility immediately after the assault.

The explosion, which is suspected to have been triggered by a suicide attacker, was followed by gunfire, notes the BBC. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denounced the attack, saying that he will not let anyone to disturb the peace, which has come at the cost of sacrifices by people and security forces in Baluchistan.

Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, has been plagued by violence linked to a separatist insurgency, sectarian tensions and rising crime, writes Reuters. The city, which has long served as a base for the Afghan Taliban, has seen a wave of targeted killings in recent times.

It remains unclear whether Monday’s assault had any connection with the shooting of Kasi, who had called for a two-day boycott of court sessions in protest against the killing of a colleague last week, reports Deutsche Welle.