Most of the Victims Were Lawyers
A deadly blast hit a hospital in Pakistani city of Quetta, killing 54 and wounding dozens of civilians.
According to media reports, a strong bomb explosion rocked the hospital after the murder of a prominent lawyer, Bilal Anwar Kasi, the former president of Balochistan Bar Association, by unidentified men.
The blast went off when nearly 100 lawyers gathered at the entrance of the hospital to protest against the gruesome killing of Bilal Anwar Kasi. Local reports say the blast triggered widespread panic and a stampede as well.
The aftermath left a trail of bloody destruction where dead bodies sprawled in front of the hospital and damage was evident surrounding the hospital.
Although no one claimed responsibility for the attack, many speculated the deadly explosion was caused by a suicide bomber.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Condemns The Attack
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denounced the bombing on Monday and urged the law enforcement authorities to boost security in Quetta.
In a statement, Prime Minister Sharif said, “No one will be allowed to disturb the peace in the province that has been restored thanks to the countless sacrifices by the security forces, police and the people of Baluchistan.”
Accounts of Witnesses
In The Guardian news report, witnesses shared their stories.
Riaz Ahmed, a 74-year-old lawyer, went to the hospital to find out what had happened to Kasi together with an assistant and his nephew when the bomb explosion occurred.
“I was near a wall and I fell down,” he said. “The wall protected me. My assistant and my nephew are injured and being treated. It was a miracle that I survived.”
Another lawyer, Jameel Ahmed, 48, said he decided to go to the hospital as soon as he heard the news about his friend Kasi.
Ahmed said, “I heard a loud blast, then a colleague of mine called me from hospital.”
He added, “I have lost so many friends in a single attack. This is horrific. Many of those who have died were with me last night. We had dinner together and now they are all dead.”
Who is Bilal Anwar Kasi?
Kasi had been the president of the Balochistan Bar Association since 2014. The prominent lawyer also ran his own law firm in Quetta.
Eight of Kasi’s relatives who accompanied his body to the hospital were also victims of the deadly blast.