Pakistan hospital bombing kills over 50
A bomb explosion has ripped through a major hospital where a group of lawyers had gathered in the restive city of Quetta in southwest Pakistan.
Pakistani media reports said at least 52 people were killed when the bomb went off in the emergency ward of the hospital on Monday.
Dozens were injured in the incident which took place when a group of lawyers gathered in the hospital to accompany the body of a prominent attorney who had been shot earlier in the day.
Bilal Anwar Kasi, who was the former president of Balochistan Bar Association, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the city.
Reports said gunshot were heard as police surrounded the hospital and cordoned off the area after the blast.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti blamed the bombing on “a security lapse,” saying he was personally investigating it. He said it was too early to determine which group or persons are behind the attack.
Balochistan has been witnessing ethnic violence and numerous attacks for years, with minority Shia and Hazara community in the province being the regular target of kidnapping and murders by extremist militants.
The poverty-stricken province, which is rich in gas and mineral resources, shares borders with neighboring Afghanistan to the north and Iran to the east.
The worst attack on Hazara Shias came in early 2013, when more than 180 members of the community were killed in two bombings in Quetta.
Thousands of people have been killed over the past decade as a result of the surge in violence in Pakistan.
Pro-Taliban elements killed over 150 people, most of them children, in an armed assault on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December 2014.