A breakaway faction of the Pakistan Taliban, Jamaat-ur-Ahraar, claimed the suicide attack at a hospital in Quetta on Monday. The explosion has killed at least 70 people, though the number is likely to rise. More than 100 people were injured. The police had cordoned off the area, and an emergency was declared at hospitals in the city where several individuals injured in the blast were shifted for treatment.
Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Harifal had said the blast took place soon after lawyers and journalists gathered at the hospital following the death of the Balochistan Bar Association's president. Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi was killed in a separate shooting early on Monday, according to Dawn.
Chief Minister of Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri had accused India's intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing of carrying out the attack, while speaking to local channel Geo News. Zehri said the blast seemed to have been a suicide attack, but Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said it was too early to ascertain the cause. "This was a security lapse, and I am having this personally investigated," he added.
Television reports showed chaos at the hospital following the explosion. A number of lawyers, including former president of the bar association Baz Mohammad Kakar, sustained injuries. Aerial firing could reportedly be heard on the hospital premises.