Nations mourns over Quetta blast

Cheryl Sanders
August 10, 2016

South Korea Tuesday strongly condemned a recent suicide bombing in Pakistan that left over 70 people dead, vowing to maintain its global cooperation in eradicating terrorism. He said lawyers will observe three days of mourning and will not appear in court in solidarity with their colleagues and others killed in the attack.

Sixty of those slain were lawyers who gathered to mourn the assassination of the Baluchistan Bar Association's president, Bilal Anwar Kasi, according to medical staff.

Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar says it was behind both the attack and murder.

Witnesses described horrifying scenes of bodies being scattered about and the wounded screaming out and crying for help. The province sees a lot of militant violence, involving Baloch separatist movements as well as attacks on Shi'ite pilgrims trying to make their way to neighboring Iran during certain holidays.

QUETTA Aug. 8 2016 - People gather around bodies of victims at the blast site in Quetta southwest Pakistan Aug. 8 2016. At least 30 people were killed and 50 others injured when a blast hit a hospital in Pakistan's southwest Quetta city

"It was a suicide attack", said Zahoor Ahmed Afridi, a senior police officer. They demanded of the authorities concerned to arrest the culprits involved in the attack and bring them under the law.

The deafening explosion, heard clearly on video, instantly killed dozens, including two television cameramen.

Pakistan's Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali also condemned the blast, calling the attackers "weak and pathetic" for targeting a hospital.

Tariq Lodhi, a former head of Pakistan's main civil spy agency, told The Associated Press that the attack was carried out by militants to "terrorize lawyers and judges", who are handling cases involving militants accused of carrying out attacks in the country. Officials said there was gunfire at the hospital after the explosion.

Samaa TV said bodies were strewn on the floor, some still smoking, "amid pools of blood and shattered glass".

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew to Quetta after the attack, and said "all state security institutions must respond with full might to decimate these terrorists".

He said: 'No one will be allowed to disturb peace in the province that has been restored due to countless sacrifices of security forces, police and the people of Balochistan'.

Pakistan's prime minister has denounced the huge bombing that struck a hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing 30.

"We will not bow down before terrorists", Sanaullah Zehri said adding that terrorists are aiming for soft targets.

Earlier, Pakistan's powerful army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif also visited the hospital, and met with the wounded.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan, the large province in Pakistan.

It was not the first time that militants in Pakistan have targeted lawyers. They are considered an important part of civil society and emerged as powerful actors in 2007, when then-President Pervez Musharraf fired the Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

Other reports by iNewsToday