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Pakistan: Suicide Bomber Hits Quetta, Taliban Claims Attack

74 people have been reportedly killed when a Taliban suicide bomber hit Pakistan’s Quetta city amid the mourning of the president of the Baluchistan Bar Association, Bilal Anwar Kasi. The bomber hit the government’s civil hospital where the mourning was taking place. A huge number of people have been injured in the attack.

Bilal Anwar was shot down by unknown attackers earlier in the day as he left his home for work.

The responsibility for both attacks have been claimed by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, who issued a statement late on Monday, “Our attacks will continue till the imposition of the Islamic system in the country.”

The Quetta bomb disposal squad issued a report saying that nearly eight kilograms of explosive materials had been used along with ball bearings clearly signifying that it was a pre-planned attack.

The attack has been said to be perpetuated to eliminate some of the most prominent lawyers of the province. The victims of the bombings also included some of the lawyer’s relatives and two journalists.

One of the witnesses, Mr. Haq said the suicide bomber was fully clad in the traditional lawyer’s uniform of Pakistan which is a black suit and black tie. The bomb went off precisely as the attacker moved toward the middle of the crowd.

One of the lawyers named Riaz Ahmed had gone to the hospital in a bid to find out the story behind Kasi’s killing when the bomb exploded. He remembered the scene as, “I was near a wall and I fell down. The wall protected me. My assistant and my nephew are injured and being treated. It was a miracle that I survived. There was chaos after the blast, with body parts lying everywhere. It is hard to recognize the victims. Many of the injured are quite critical.”

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the bombing in a news statement before visiting the injured in the Quetta hospital.

Balochistan is located in the southwestern province of the country and has lately been a target for ethnic separatist insurgency. Two other lawyers, Jahanzeb Alvi and Amanullah Achakzai, were killed in August and in June respectively by unidentified gunmen in the same city.