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Pakistan raises death toll to 42 in Quetta blast

Associated Press Associated Press 8/08/2016

Pakistani lawyers use a stretcher to move an injured colleague after a bomb explosion at a government hospital premises in Quetta on August 8, 2016.   At least 20 people have been killed after a bomb went off at a major hospital in the southwest Pakistani city of Quetta, an AFP reporter and officials said, with fears the death toll could rise.

Pakistani lawyers use a stretcher to move an injured colleague after a bomb explosion at a government hospital premises in Quetta on August 8, 2016. At least 20 people have been killed after a bomb went off at a major hospital in the southwest Pakistani city of Quetta, an AFP reporter and officials said, with fears the death toll could rise.
© Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Update:

Pakistani police have raised the death toll from a hospital bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta and are now saying that there are 42 killed.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for Monday's attack.

Senior police official Zahoor Ahmed Afridi says the bomb went off shortly after the body of a prominent lawyer killed earlier in the day was brought to the hospital.

Sanaullah Zehri, the chief minister in Baluchistan province, where Quetta is the capital, says it seemed to be a suicide attack but that the police are still investing.

This is a developing news update. AP's earlier story follows...

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A powerful bomb went off on the grounds of a government-run hospital in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta on Monday, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens, police said.

The blast took place shortly after the body of a prominent lawyer killed in a shooting attack earlier in the day was brought to the hospital, said senior police official Zahoor Ahmed Afridi, though it was unclear if the two events were in any way connected.

Nearly 100 lawyers and other people had gathered there at the time, he added.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, which struck at the gates of the building housing the emergency ward, on the hospital grounds. Earlier, police had mistakenly said the bomb struck the hospital's main gate.

Anwalullah Kakar, the government spokesman in southwestern Baluchistan province, said an investigation is underway. Sarfraz Bugti, the provincial interior minister, denounced the attack as an "act of terrorism."

A Pakistani news channel reported that one of its cameramen was also killed in the blast.

It was also unknown who was behind the killing of the lawyer, Bilal Kasi, who was gunned down on his way to court earlier in the day.

Local TV stations broadcast footage showing people running in panic around the hospital grounds. Afridi said most of the dead were lawyers who had gathered after Kasi's body was brought to the hospital.

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