It was a diabolical plan through and through. The first step was the assassination of a prominent figure. Then, when associates of that person have gathered together on account of his death, a suicide bomber mingles with the crowd. It went like clockwork, and now two terrorist networks are claiming responsibility for the latest terror attack to hit Pakistan.
Al-Jazeera reports that a hospital in Pakistan’s Quetta City was rocked by an explosion on Monday August 8 from a suicide bombing that killed at least 70 and wounded 112. Sarfraz Bugti, home minister for Balochistan province where Quetta is located, said that the victims were mostly journalists and lawyers, who have gathered at the hospital at the news of the fatal shooting of attorney Anwar Kasi, president of the Balochistan Bar Association, on his way to work earlier that morning.
Amidst the media reporting on the death, and the legal representatives mourning and discussing funeral arrangements for Kasi’s body, an explosion occurred in the hospital’s emergency ward at around 9:30 AM local time. The mass of people were caught in the blast.
As Saeed Shah of the Wall Street Journal describes the aftermath, “It was a scene of utter horror and devastation in the courtyard hospital. There were bodies strewn everywhere, bleeding lawyers trying to get up."
The suicide bombing and the shooting of Kasi were both immediately claimed by the Pakistani Tehreek-i Taliban terrorist group. An email sent by TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan took responsibility for the two attacks and warned that more terror strikes will be carried out soon. The message ended with the announcement of a video report documenting the killings to be released later. In addition, ISIS also took credit for the attacks, as its news agency Amaq claimed that the suicide bomber in the hospital was one of theirs, a “martyr from the Islamic State”.
Pakistani political leaders were quick to condemn the bombing. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared, "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 then called for the utmost vigilance in the country’s law enforcement and military, along with increasing security details for the legal community and judiciary.
Of a morbidly interesting note, the same hospital was also the site of an earlier terror attack back in 2010.
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