A suicide bomb attack killed at lest 70 people at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan Monday as mourners and journalists accompanied the body of a prominent lawyer who had been gunned down just hours prior to the hospital for autopsy.
WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – A suicide bomb attack killed at lest 70 people at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan Monday as mourners and journalists waited to accompany the body of a prominent lawyer who had been gunned down just hours prior from the hospital to the cemetery.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed credit for the attack, Aljazeera reported, which injured about 110 others who waited for the autopsy of Bilal Anwar Kasi to be complete. The Taliban affiliate, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, reportedly promised to carry out more of such attacks.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack in a statement and said that he has directed authorities to “maintain utmost vigilance,” boosting security in the capital city of Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.
Kasi was President of the Balochistan Bar Association. The president of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association, Syed Ali Zafa, denounced the assault as “an attack on justice,” BBC News reported. The Pakistan Bar Council reportedly announced a nationwide strike by lawyers on Tuesday.
“This brutal and senseless attack on civilians, so many of them lawyers working to bring justice to their country, will not undermine one of the most important pillars of Pakistan’s democracy and civil society,” said U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale in a statement.
The White House released a statement condemning the attack.
“The United States is committed to our continuing counterterrorism partnership with Pakistan, and we remain resolute in joining with the people of Pakistan in confronting terrorism in Pakistan and across the region,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.
The U.S. Defense Department withheld $300 million dollars in military assistance to Pakistan in this fiscal year, The Washington Post reported last week, citing that the department could not certify to Congress that Pakistan was taking sufficient action against terrorist and insurgent networks operating on Pakistani soil.