70 dead as Taliban bomb protest over lawyer’s killing in Quetta

ISLAMABAD: 70 people were killed and dozens wounded in a suicide attack targeting lawyers and journalists today in Quetta, the capital city of the troubled Balochistan province. 

Waqt News reporter in Quetta Wattan Yar said police had confirmed 42 deaths but the hospital sources put the toll much higher.

Graphic video footage from the scene showed bodies strewn on the ground, some smoking, among pools of blood and shattered glass as shocked survivors cried and comforted one another. A large burn mark against white brick appeared to indicate where the explosion occurred. 

Many of the dead were lawyers and journalists who had earlier gathered to cover a protest over the murder of Balochistan Bar Association president Bilal Anwar Kasi.

ISIS and Pakistani Taliban faction Jamaat-ur-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at a hospital in southwestern Pakistan that killed at least 70 people.

"The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar takes responsibility for this attack, and pledges to continue carrying out such attacks. We will release a video report on this soon," spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said in an email.

The Islamist movement is the same that carried out the Easter Day bombing the eastern city of Lahore in March that killed 72 people, many of them children, in a crowded park.

According to recent statement by MS Civil Hospital, "70 people have been killed and there are many injured."

Earlier the health minister of Balochistan Rehmat Baloch claimed that at least 93 people were dead while the province's home minister Sarfaraz Bugti said 53 people have been killed, various TV channels aired their statements. 

According to Bomb Disposal team, "Bomb weighed around 8 kilograms. Legs of the suicide bomber have been found. Forensic teams are also collection material from the site." 

Aaj television cameraman Shehzad, Dawn News cameraman Mehmood Khan and ex-BBA president Muhammad Kakar were among those killed in the incident, whereas, Dunya News cameraman Faridullah among the injured people.

Shahzad, had reached the hospital to report the killing of Quetta Bar President Bilal Kasi who was gunned down at Mano Jan Road. The senior lawyer’s body was brought to the hospital by rescue workers.

Explosion occurred near the emergency ward of the hospital killed Shahzad. He had been working with Aaj News for the last seven years.

The explosion had critically injured cameraman, Mahmood Khan, who was working for Dawn News. Mahmood, 26, later succumbed to his wounds.

Wattan Yar said that among more than 35 wounded, at least 20 were critical so the death toll could still rise. “Police have confirmed it as a suicide attack. More investigations are ongoing,” he added.

MS Bolan Medical Complex Ayub Kakar said, “There are 30 people who are critically injured and under treatment. They are injured in the stomach and head, due to pallets after the explosion. All those who had minor injuries have been discharged after treatment.”

According to latest tweet by the ISPR, 2 seriously injured evacuated to Karachi. 20 more being evacuated on military plane to various hospitals in different cities on required basis.

Soon after the explosion, a heavy contingent of security personnel arrived at the hospital and cordoned off the blast site. The injured persons were rushed to Bolan Medical Complex and other nearby hospitals.

Balochistan Bar Association President Bilal Anwar Kasi was gunned down in Quetta earlier today. Kasi’s car came under attack on Manu Jan Road in the city. The assailants were riding a motorbike and could not be identified immediately. Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the concerned authorities to maintain utmost vigilance and beef up security for the legal fraternity and members of civil society.

Sharif 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 Balochistan.

He also directed for provision of best treatment to those injured in the attack and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss.

The Balochistan Bar Council has announced three-day mourning across the province. Barrister Ali Zafar said, "We are announcing three days of mourning and demand justice and protection."

Provincial government spokesman Anwalullah Kakar said an investigation was underway.

President Mamnoon Hussain strongly condemned bomb blast at  Civil Hospital Quetta resulting in loss of precious lives and leaving many other injured.

Expressing sympathies with the bereaved families, the President reiterated the firm resolve of the present Government to continue fighting militancy till its logical end and said that such coward acts by a handful of militants cannot deter government’s commitment to curb militancy and terrorism in the country. He directed authorities to provide best medical treatment to the victims.

The Government of Sindh has announced one day mourning on Tuesday throughout the province in the wake of tragic bomb blast. The government has condemned this act of gruesome terrorism and expresses solidarity with the bereaved families. The national flag will fly at half mast on government buildings.

Former President Asif Ali Zardari also condemned bomb the Civil Hospital Quetta blast.  He said that incidents of terrorism and militancy have not and will not weaken the resolve to fight the militants to the finish.

Zardari said the attacks on innocent citizens and the bloodletting of innocent people cannot and must not be allowed to go on with impunity.

He called for immediate, decisive and credible measures to stop this barbarism. The former President said that Pakistan People’s Party will not leave the people on the mercy of terrorists and will fight the militants with the help of the people.

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti while speaking to Media said, “This is a security laps and will be thoroughly investigated. Three-day mourning has been announced." He further said, "We are in a state of war and everyone is being targeted.” He has announced a crackdown against terror elements without more ado. “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 early this morning,” said provincial Interior Secretary Akbar Harifal.

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday strongly condemned the bomb blast in Quetta Civil hospital resulting in martyrdom of over 30 people and the killing of Balochistan Bar Association President Bilawal Anwar Kasi.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said such a huge loss by terrorists has sent mourning waves across the country and those martyred in the bomb blast were all our brothers and sisters. “Terrorists are targeting hospitals, schools and other public places to shake our will to fight back. But, entire Pakistani nation was united to crush the monster of terrorism with full national might,” he added.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah calls Balochistan CM Sanaullah Zahri to condole. He prayed for the departed souls and said “We stand by you in this hour of grief.”

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker and Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Deputy Speaker National Assembly today strongly condemned the bomb blast at Civil Hospital Quetta and expressed heartfelt grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives.

In their separate statements, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker termed it barbaric and shameful act of terrorism. They said that the elements involved in such heinous activities were the enemies of the country and humanity and wanted to disrupt the peace in the country. They said that such cowardly acts cannot deter the firm resolve of the Government against terrorism. They were confident that the culprits involved in such activities will not be spared and will be brought to justice. 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Mehmood ur Rasheed and PML-Q leader presented a resolution against the Quetta Blast. It states that the culprits should not be spared and the government has failed in providing protection to its citizens.

Commander Southern Command Lt-Gen Amir Riaz has paid a visit to Civil Hospital and inquired about the condition of the victims.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali has strongly condemned the assassination of Bilal Anwar Kasi, President, Baluchistan High Court Bar Association, Quetta and the bomb blast at Civil Hospital, Quetta. The  Chief Justice of Pakistan has offered his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for speedy recovery to those who injured. The Chief Justice of Pakistan hoped that the Federal / Provincial Governments would leave no stone unturned to justice. He also stressed on taking effective measures to improve law and order situation in Baluchstian as well as in the rest of the country.

PPP leader Sherry Rehman has raised questions on Nation Action Plan. She said, "What are the results of National Action Plan. We are still suffering and people are dieing. Security cant be deployed everywhere but we need to improve it at all levels."

Maryam Nawaz, daughter of PM Nawaz Shairf tweeted saying, Attack on Baluchistan is an attack on the hearts & spirits of those who want to see Pak united. Praying for our brothers, the victims.

Quetta Civil Hospital had not received any threats before the attack.

Emergency has been declared in all city hospitals.

COAS reached Quetta

Chief of the Army Staff Raheel Sharif has reached Quetta Civil Hospital. He is checking on the patients and ensuring all are getting proper treatment. COAS pays a visit to Balochistan High Court and condoled with the lawyers and Judges. ISPR tweets statements: 

COAS has chaired a security meeting in Quetta. CM&CS Balochistan, Commander Southern Commander were present. He said, "Having been defeated in KPK,terrorists are shiftingt their focus to Balochistan. It is an attempt to undermine improved security in Balochistan, specially targeting CPEC. All resources to be employed to control situation." Special combing Operation has been ordered. Intellegence agencies will go anywhere in the country to target anyone linked with these terror acts. He ordered that all resources be employed to control the situation.


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reached Quetta. He was recieved by CM Balochistan Sanaullah Zahri and other officials. PM will be visiting the injured in Civil Hospital. COAS and PM were together when they attended the victims of the blast. Upon meeting the blast victims in Civil Hospital he said, "All injured and dead are my children. I can feel your pain."


Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has said, "C-130 planes are ready to facilitate the victims when needed. We will provide all possible facilities to the victims."

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