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Lawyers & mediamen among 70 killed in blast at Quetta’s civil hospital

Lahore : A suicide bomber targeted the emergency services ward at Quetta’s Civil Hospital , killing at least 63 people and leaving scores injured.

The Telegraph claimed that at least 70 people including lawyers and journalists were killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack outside a Pakistan hospital on Monday morning.

Soon after the explosion, a heavy contingent of security personnel arrived at the hospital and cordoned off the blast site.

According to Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), eight to nine kilograms of explosives were used in the attack.

The injured persons were immediately rushed to Bolan Medical Complex and other nearby hospitals.

The large explosion at the gates of Quetta civil hospital in Balochistan took place as dozens gathered to mourn the shooting of a senior lawyer, who was killed earlier on Monday.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, condemned the attacks,saying that  “No-one will be allowed to disturb the peace of the province. “The people, policy and security forces in Balochistan have given sacrifices for the country”,he maintained.

Former chief minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik termed Monday the “blackest day” in the history of the region.

The bomber struck soon after dozens of lawyers gathered at the hospital following the killing of the Balochistan Bar Association President, who was shot dead this morning.

The bombing took place as lawyers gathered at the entrance of the hospital’s emergency wing to mourn Bilal Anwar Kasi, who was president of the Balochistan Bar Association. Mr Kasi had been targeted by two unidentified gunmen who opened fire on his car near Quetta’s Mengal Chowk earlier on Monday morning. He was taken to the Civil Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Journalists covering the initial shooting were also caught up in the blast. Mehmood Jan, a lawyer who survived the bomb blast, told The Telegraph that more than 50 lawyers had been entering the hospital wing when the bomb went off. “There was a loud blast, and after the blast I heard firing noises.

Everyone started running away. Everywhere was covered with blood and body parts.” Another lawyer also reported witnessing gunfire immediately after the attack.

Balochistan’s home minister Sarfaraz Bugti  said the bombing was a suspected suicide attack. “This was a security lapse and I am having this personally investigated,” he said.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the blast, which occurred at the gates of the building housing the emergency ward.

“The blast took place after a number of lawyers and some journalists had gathered at the hospital following the death of the president of the Balochistan Bar Association in a separate shooting incident this morning,” said Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Harifal.

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