QUETTA, Pakistan — 70 people were killed and 53 others were wounded in an attack against mostly lawyers. The attack has been claimed both by Islamic State and a local group, Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan Jamat ul Ahrar.
While talking to a local TV outlet Geo News, the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, said that the Indian spy agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) was responsible for the attack in the provincial capital of Quetta, whereas the Home Minister of the province, Sarfaraz Bugti, called the attack a “security lapse”.Lawyers were demonstrating the target killing of their Bar Association President, Bilal Anwar Kasi, as he was killed near his home early in the morning. His dead body was brought to the Quetta Civil Hospital and fellow lawyers rushed to protest the death of their leader when a suicide bomber hit the demonstrating lawyers.
The hospital staff member, who was not allowed to talk to the media, told ArmedPolitics that “70 are confirmed dead” and “more than 53 are wounded.” Several of the wounded were shifted to other hospitals in Quetta.
“A martyrdom bomber of the Islamic State detonated his explosive belt on a group of personnel belonging to the Ministry of Justice and the Pakistani Police in the city of Quetta,” read the statement by Amaq, an Islamic State news releasing agency.
ArmedPolitics got a statement from the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan Jamat ul Ahrar, claiming their Quetta attack on the lawyers: “At first, the Jamat ul Ahrar targeted the Bar Association President Bilal Anwar Kasi, and then the lawyers who were gathered in demonstrations were attacked in a suicide attack.” The statement reads that several lawyers and government officials were killed and wounded, and, “this attack is claimed by Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan Jamat ul Ahrar”.
Amin Gharshin, one of the lawyers who was part of the demonstration that was attacked by a suicide bomb told ArmedPolitics, “We were still gathering and many of us were on way to join the demonstration when a bomber attacked and killed several of our colleagues and fellows”.
Earlier, Bar Association President Anwar Bilal Kasi had called upon their fellows to boycott the courts for two days in response to another lawyer, Jahanzeb Alvi, who was killed in a targeted attack.