Bomb rips through hospital in Pakistan, killing at least 30
Pakistani lawyers use a stretcher to move an injured colleague after a bomb explosion at a government hospital in Quetta on August 8, 2016. (AFP/Banaras Khan)
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A bomb explosion has killed at least 30 people inside a major hospital in the restive city of Quetta in southwest Pakistan.
The blast, which went off in the emergency ward of the hospital on Monday, was confirmed by Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti.
Dozens were injured in the incident which took place when a group of lawyers gathered in the hospital to accompany the body of a prominent attorney who had been shot earlier in the day.
Bilal Anwar Kasi, who was the former president of Balochistan Bar Association, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the city.
Reports said gunshot were heard as police surrounded the hospital and cordoned off the area after the blast.
Bugti blamed the bombing on "a security lapse", saying he was personally investigating it. He said it was too early to determine which group or persons are behind the incidents.
Balochistan has been witnessing ethnic violence and numerous attacks for years, with minority Shia and Hazara community in the province being the regular target of kidnapping and murders by extremist militants.
The poverty-stricken province, which is rich in gas and mineral resources, shares borders with neighboring Afghanistan to the north and Iran to the east.
The worst attack on Hazara Shias came in early 2013, when more than 180 members of the community were killed in two bombings in Quetta.
Thousands of people have been killed over the past decade as a result of the surge in violence in Pakistan.
Pro-Taliban elements killed over 150 people, most of them children, in an armed assault on a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December 2014.