25 dead, over 20 injured in Quetta bomb blast

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Four LEA men killed, one injured in Quetta firing

QUETTA, Aug 08 (APP): At least 25 people including lawyers and a journalist were killed and over 20 others who were also lawyers and journalists were injured in a powerful bomb blast occurred outside the gate of Emergency Ward in Sandeman Civil Hospital Quetta, here on Monday.

“Several people have been killed and injured in the bomb blast at Civil Hospital,” said, Provincial Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, adding that the terrorists targeted lawyers who were gathered there after the body of President, Balochistan Bar Association, Bilal Anwar Kasi was brought there who was gunned down by unknown armed men on Manno Jan Road Quetta, on Monday morning.

A cameraman of a private TV channel was among the dead. Most of the dead were lawyers while injured include lawyers and journalists. “Shehzad Khan, the cameraman of a private TV channel has died in the blast while covering the protest of lawyers who were gathered there to protest the targeted killing of Bilal Anwar Kasi,” a police official said, adding that the most of the dead and injured are lawyers. Faridullah, a reporter of a private TV channel also sustained wounds in the blast.

Senior lawyer leaders and former presidents of Balochistan Bar, Baz Muhammad Kakar and Taj Muhammad Kakar were reportedly injured in the explosion.

The police said that unknown miscreants opened indiscriminate fire at Bilal Anwar Kasi, the President of Balochistan Bar Association and fled from the scene. Bilal Anwar Kasi who suffered multiple gunshot wounds died on the spot. The body of the senior lawyer was brought to Sandeman Civil Hospital for postmortem and legal formalities.

Soon after listening to the news about targeted killing of Bilal Anwar Kasi, a large number of lawyers including senior lawyer leaders reached Civil Hospital. Media teams also reached there to the cover the incident. “During that, a powerful bomb explosion happened, in which 25 people lost their lives and over 20 suffered critical injuries,” the police said.

Most of the injured were shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Quetta. The powerful blast heard from far away created panic and harassment among people. Several
vehicles were damaged and windowpanes of the hospital and nearby buildings were shattered. The firing also took place at the hospital soon after the incident. The law enforcement agencies including the Frontier Corps, Police and Balochistan Constabulary have cordoned off the entire areas.

There was no immediate claim for the responsibility of the bomb explosion as the police officials said that they could not comment who might be behind this act of terror.

However, some police officials said that two legs were founds outside the emergency ward and they feared that it might be a suicide bomb attack on lawyers.

Chief Minister Balochistan, Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri strongly condemned the blast and said that the culprits involved in this act of terror would be brought to justice. “Stern action will be taken against the elements involved in acts of terror,” he said. He directed the authorities concerned to provide all health care facilities to the injured.

Home Minister, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that terrorists attacked lawyers. He said that the negligence of security personnel deployed for hospital security would not be forgiven.

The law enforcement personnel deployed for the security of the hospital were assigned duty for security and protection, he said, adding that an inquiry would be held to look into their negligence.

“Balochistan is in conflict zone and the government and people of the province are in state of war as they are fighting against terrorists and our war will remain continuous till end of terrorists,” he said.