Karachi, August 9 (PTI) : Both the Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have claimed responsibility for Monday’s bombing of the Civil Hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, says the Press Trust of India.
“A martyrdom bomber of the Islamic State detonates his explosive belt on a group of personnel belonging to the Ministry of Justice and the Pakistani Police in the city of Quetta,” the ISIS-linked Amaq news agency said.
A spokesman for Jamaatul Aharar, a faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, said that his faction “accepts responsibility” for the attack in the southwestern city of Quetta and vowed more attacks “until the imposition of an Islamic system in Pakistan”. Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said this in an email to media organizations.
While the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) put the death toll at 93, PTI put the casualty figures at 75 dead and 115 others. Most of them were mourners who had come following the death of a lawyer-activist.
The suicide bomber struck at a time when over 200 mourners had gathered at the government-run Civil Hospital where the body of prominent lawyer Bilal Anwar Kasi, who was shot dead earlier in the day, was brought. Kasi was the president of Balochistan Bar Association.
A loud explosion was heard at the emergency department where Kasi’s body was brought for an autopsy.
Gunfire followed the explosion. Police said it was a suicide attack where eight kilogrammes of explosives were used.
“No crater found at the site of the attack and it appears the bomber had the explosives strapped to his chest,” a police officer said.
Bomb Disposal Squad officials also confirmed the explosion was a suicide bombing — one of the deadliest terror attacks in the country this year.
Soon after the attack, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of army staff General Raheel Sharif reached the city and visited the hospital to take stock of the situation.
Prime Minister Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain strongly condemned the attack. Sharif ordered the provincial government to arrest the culprits.
No one will be allowed to disrupt the peace of the province,” Sharif said.
He said “all state security institutions must respond with full might to decimate these terrorists”.