Bomb blast in Pakistan′s Quetta kills dozens | News | DW | 08.08.2016
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Bomb blast in Pakistan's Quetta kills dozens

A bomb targeting a hospital has killed at least 60 people in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta. The region has seen a recent rise in violence and crime amid a separatist insurgency and sectarian tensions.

Pakistani officials said Monday's explosion occurred as some 100 people gathered in front of the emergency ward of a government-run hospital in Quetta to accompany the body of slain lawyer Bilal Anwar Kasi, who was shot and killed in the city on his way to court earlier in the day.

Police said at least 60 people were killed and dozens wounded in the blast, for which there has so far been no claim of responsibility. They said the death toll was likely to rise.

A Pakistani news channel reported that one of its cameramen was among the victims of the explosion.

Most of those assembled to accompany Kasi's body were lawyers and journalists.

A government spokesman for Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, said an investigation was underway.

Frequent violence

Baluchistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said forensic evidence suggested the attack might be a suicide bombing.

It also remains unknown who was behind the shooting of Kasi, or whether the two attacks were connected.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued a statement expressing his "deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives" in the hospital blast.

Quetta and Baluchistan province have seen a recent rise in violence connected both with a separatist insurgency and sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

Targeted killings and other crimes have become increasingly common in the capital.

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Bomb rips through Pakistan's northwestern Quetta

tj/rc (AP, Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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