Taliban and IS claim hospital suicide bombing
AT least 70 people died when a suicide bomb tore through a crowd of mourners gathered at a Pakistani hospital on August 8, in an attack claimed by both the Taliban and Islamic State group.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for security forces to “decimate” terrorists after the blast at the Civil Hospital in the Balochistan provincial capital here, which also wounded more than 100 people.
Video footage showed bodies strewn on the ground among pools of blood and shattered glass.
The bomber struck a crowd of some 200 people gathered to mourn the death of a senior local lawyer who had been assassinated earlier in the day.
Many of the victims were clad in the black suits and ties traditionally worn by Pakistani lawyers.
An AFP journalist was about 20 metres away when the bomb went off. “There were huge black clouds and dirt,” he said.
“I ran back to the place and saw dead bodies scattered everywhere and many injured people crying.
“There were pools and pools of blood around and pieces of human bodies and flesh.”
Medics from the hospital rushed out to help dozens of injured, he said.
Pervez Masi, who was injured by pieces of flying glass, said the blast was so powerful that “we didn’t know what had happened”.
“So many friends were martyred,” he said. “Whoever is doing this is not human – he is a beast.”
Bomb disposal unit chief Abdul Razzaq said it was a suicide attack. “The bomber had strapped some 8 kilograms of explosives packed with ball bearings and shrapnel on the body,” he said.
The head of the provincial health department, doctor Masood Nausherwani, gave a death toll of 70, with 112 injured.
A faction of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for both the assassination of the lawyer and the blast at the hospital.
A spokesperson vowed it would carry out more attacks “until the imposition of an Islamic system in Pakistan”. –
Pakistani journalists take part in a candlelight vigil during a rally to pay tribute to their colleagues killed in a suicide bombing in Quetta, in Lahore, on August 8.