Pakistan's Quetta uneasy about security two days after blast

Pakistan's Quetta uneasy about security two days after blast

Both a Pakistani Taliban faction, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, and Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, although Pakistani analysts and officials expressed doubt about any IS involvement. (AFP)

Quetta, Pakistan | Aug 10, 2016, 04.58 PM (IST)

Pakistanis in Quetta demanded better security today, two days after a suicide bombing at a hospital killed 74 people.

Monday's suicide bombing, that hit grief-stricken colleagues crowding around the body of the assassinated head of the provincial bar association, was the deadliest jihadist attack in Pakistan this year.

Shreds of black cloth from slain lawyers trademark dark suits still littered the ground today at the Civil Hospital in Quetta, where glass from shattered windows remained and blood stained the walls.

Medical staff said up to 60 of those killed were lawyers who had gathered to mourn the president of the Baluchistan Bar Association, Bilal Anwar Kasi.

"This type of attack happened in 2010, too, this is just a repetition. Yesterday, I warned the lawyers who had gathered here for the martyred lawyer Bilal that, God forbid, such an attack could happen again, so they should reduce the crowds," Abdul Rehman Miankhel, Medical Superintendent at the Civil Hospital said.

"I believe that our security is not adequate. It should be heightened, The number of guards should be increased and they should always be present at the gate. Walk-through (security) gates should also be erected. This is my suggestion. This will prevent any terrorist-type people from entering the hospital premises," added medical officer Dr. Malik Sultan.

Security staff at the hospital said they asked the government to deploy paramilitary police forces at the hospital months ago, but nothing had been done so far.

Both a Pakistani Taliban faction, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, and Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, although Pakistani analysts and officials expressed doubt about any IS involvement.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, like myriad Islamist militants waging war against Pakistan's government, consider civil society workers such as lawyers as part of the system they seek to overthrow to establish their vision of strict Islamic law.

Shops, businesses, schools and universities in Quetta and beyond remained closed as the government announced three days of mourning.

(Reuters)
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