ISIS claims responsibility for Quetta attack

10:19 PM | 8 Aug, 2016
ISIS claims responsibility for Quetta attack
QUETTA (Web Desk) – Islamic State (ISIS) have claimed responsibility for the blast, which struck at Quetta’s civil hospital on Monday morning.

According to details, a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, Daily Mail reported.

In a statement, Ahsanullah Ahsan, spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militant group, also said their men killed Bilal Kasi, the president of Baluchistan Bar Association, and then targeted the mourners who had gathered at Civil Hospital.

The group has been behind several acts of terrorism in Pakistan over the years.

The claim could not be independently verified, but local sources have previously reported on the group's allegiance to ISIS.

Most of the dead and injured were lawyers who had arrived in the hospital after the early morning killing of Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) president, Bilal Anwar Kasi.

Read more: Balochistan Bar president Bilal Anwar Kasi gunned down in Quetta

BBA former president Baz Mohammad Kakar was among the dead, Supreme Court Bar Association former president Kamran Murtaza confirmed. A cameraman working for Aaj News was killed while a cameraman of Dawn News was also seriously wounded in the blast.

Following the blast, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that it was a matter of serious security lapse as there was no security alert for the hospital. I am monitoring the investigation personally, he said.

Read more: UPDATES: Quetta hospital blast toll mounts to 70

He went on to say that an investigation was underway to determine the nature of the blast, however, initial findings suggested that it was a suicide blast.

Earlier this day, the Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) president, Bilal Anwar Kasi, was gunned down in an apparent targeted killing incident in Quetta.

The police officials said that the car of the lawyer leaders came under attack on Manno Jan road in the city. The assailants were riding a motorbike and could not be identified immediately. Further investigation into the murder incident was still underway.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the assassination of President Balochistan Bar Association Bilal Kasi and Quetta blast.

In the last 15 years alone, over 1,400 incidents of targeted killings have taken place in Balochistan, including several  major suicide blasts which mainly targeted Hazara community.