Bombings, gunfire at clinic in Quetta, Pakistan | News | DW | 15.06.2013
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Bombings, gunfire at clinic in Quetta, Pakistan

Militants have attacked a hospital at Quetta in Pakistan and set off two bombs, killing 23 people. The first bomb hit a bus carrying female university students. The second went off in the hospital's emergency section.

On Saturday, troops fought gunmen who seized parts of the Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's restive southwest Baluchistan province. The siege coincided with two lethal bomb blasts.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Islamist militants have in the past targeted proponents of female education in the region.

Police said the first bomb - possibly remote-controlled - ripped through a bus carrying female university students as they were leaving their campus. At least 12 students were killed. A further 19 people were wounded.

Second bomb inside hospital

As relatives, friends and rescuers crowded into the hospital's emergency section a second bomb exploded in a corridor. That killed at least 11 people.

Quetta's head of police operations Fayaz Sumbal said those killed in that blast included a senior government official who had arrived to assess the situation.

Gunfire broke out as panicked people sought safety. Armed men then captured various sections of the complex.

Pakistani television footage showed people hiding behind ambulances in the clinic's parking lot. Security forces, including police commandos, were called in. A gun battle ensued.

Attack on historic building

Earlier on Saturday, suspected separatists killed a policeman and gutted a historic summer retreat once used by Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in a hill town in the province.

Saturday's attacks were the heaviest since bombings in Quetta at the start of the year claimed almost 200 lives and came only a week after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office.

Baluchistan is a vast province, with large deposits of copper and gold, that borders Iran and Afghanistan.

ipj/dr (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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