Quetta, A Pakistani Taliban faction and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have both claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at a hospital in Pakistan’s Quetta that killed at least 70 people.
Monday’s attack targeted a group of mourning lawyers, who had gathered at the emergency department of the hospital to accompany the body of a murdered colleague.
“The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar takes responsibility for this attack, and pledges to continue carrying out such attacks. We will release a video report on this soon,” the group’s spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said in an email.
ISIL, which is also known as ISIS, also claimed responsibility for the attack.
“A martyr from the Islamic State [of Iraq and the Levant] detonated his explosive belt at a gathering of justice ministry employees and Pakistani policemen in the city of Quetta,” the armed group’s Amaq website said.
The blast happened at the gate of the emergency room in the morning.
The lawyers were at the unit because earlier in the day armed men, who are still unidentified, had shot Bilal Anwar Kasi, reports said.
Kasi, who later died from his injuries, was the former president of the Balochistan Bar Association. He had been on his way to work when he was attacked.
Many of the dead appeared to be lawyers, wearing black suits and ties.
Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said: “The blast occurred after a number of lawyers and some journalists had gathered at the hospital following the death of Bilal Anwar Kasi, the president of the Balochistan Bar Association, in a separate shooting incident early this morning.”
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies