International desk – The death toll in hospital bombing in Pakistani city of Quetta has risen to 70, according to Pakistani media.
They reported that a suicide bomber targeted the emergency services ward at the Civil Hospital also leaving scores others injured.
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), has claimed responsibility for the bombing which occurred at the hospital, Dawn newspaper reported.
The bomber struck soon after dozens of lawyers gathered at the hospital following the killing of the Balochistan Bar Association President.
Bilal Anwar Kasi, the Bar leader, was shot dead by unidentified assailants on Monday morning.
“The blast took place after a number of lawyers and some journalists had gathered at the hospital following the death of the president of the Balochistan Bar Association in a separate shooting incident this morning,” said Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Harifal.
BBC reported that the casualties included lawyers and journalists accompanying the body of Bilal Anwar Kasi.
Gunfire followed the explosion.
Pakistani police have said earlier they suspect the bomb was detonated by a suicide attacker.
Kasi, who was president of the Balochistan Bar Association, had been shot while on his way to the main court complex in Quetta, local news outlet Geo TV reported.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attacks. “No-one will be allowed to disturb the peace of the province,” he said.
“The people, policy and security forces in Balochistan have given sacrifices for the country,” the premier was quoted to have said.
Chief Minister of Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri said those injured should be given the best medical treatment and facilities available.
There have been a number of targeted killings in Quetta, linked to a separatist insurgency as well as sectarian tensions and crime.
Those killed in recent weeks have included several lawyers.
Kasi had strongly condemned the attacks and local media said he had announced a two-day boycott of court sessions in protest at the killing of a colleague last week.
Those killed in the hospital attack were said to include Baz Muhammad Kakar, a predecessor of Kasi as provincial bar president, 17 other lawyers and Shahzad Khan, a cameraman for Aaj TV, says BBC.