Pakistani Taliban Kills At Least 74 in Attack on Quetta Hospital

Attack Targeted a Group of Lawyers in the Emergency Room

by Jason Ditz, August 08, 2016

The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan’s Jamaat ul-Ahrar faction has attacked a major hospital in Quetta, Pakistan today, killing at least 74 people and wounding a large number of others. The attack targeted a group of lawyers in the emergency room, and they were a large portion of the casualties. Many of the wounded were critically so.

Former Bar Association President Bilal Anwar Kasi was shot earlier in the day, and died of his injuries in the emergency room. The lawyers were there to mourn his death when the attack happened. It’s unclear who shot him, and if it was related to the suicide bombing.

This is the largest single attack in Quetta in quite some time. It is unusual for the Pakistani Taliban factions to attack the city, which is outside of the tribal areas, and also hosts the “Quetta Shura,” a leadership body for the Afghan Taliban insurgency.

Quetta is the capital of Balochistan, the large province in Pakistan. The province sees a lot of militant violence, involving Baloch separatist movements as well as attacks on Shi’ite pilgrims trying to make their way to neighboring Iran during certain holidays.

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