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Blast at hospital leaves scores dead in Pakistan

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Pakistan is in mourning again. A suicide blast rocked the Government Hospital in Quetta resulting in 77 casualties and more than a hundred people left injured. The attack was timed for maximum impact. Earlier in the day Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi, president of the Balochistan Bar Association was assassinated on his way to work. As his dead body was brought to the hospital, many of his colleagues gathered at the entrance to the emergency department and that is when the suicide blast occurred. Almost all of the senior lawyer community was decimated in the attack. Of the 77 casualties, 57 were lawyers. Two cameramen, for Aaj TV and Dawn News also died in the attack. Jamaat ul Ahraar, a faction of the Teheek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack. Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s south western province is not new to terror attacks. Target killings, bomb blasts and lawlessness prevail in the city. The province enjoys a unique geo-political position in the region that has often lead to the Pakistani establishment blaming India and Afghanistan for causing unrest in the province to derail any economic development and plans. Strife in neighbouring countries, Iran and Afghanistan often spill into its borders. Religious intolerance attacks targeting Shia Muslims, the Hazara community and other minorities are also commonplace.   Image: Al Jazeera

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