A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed at least 63 people and wounded dozens more in an attack on mourners gathered at a hospital in Quetta
The bomber struck as more than 100 mourners, mostly lawyers and journalists, crowded into the emergency department to accompany the body of a prominent lawyer who had been killed in the city earlier in the day.
Bilal Anwar Kasi was shot while on his way to the city’s main court complex, and the subsequent suicide attack appeared to target his mourners, a spokesman for the Baluchistan government said.
Abdul Rehman Miankhel, a senior official at the government-run Civil Hospital, where the explosion occurred, told reporters that at least 63 people had been killed, with more than 50 wounded as the casualty toll spiked from initial estimates.
The military has since been deployed in and around the city’s hospitals.
The toll makes the attack the second deadliest in Pakistan this year so far, after a bombing in a crowded park in Lahore over Easter killed 75.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.
Targeted killings have become increasingly common in Quetta, the capital of a province that has seen rising violence linked to a separatist insurgency as well as sectarian tensions and rising crime.
Quetta has also long been a base for the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership has regularly held meetings there in the past.
In May, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by a US drone strike while travelling to Quetta from the Pakistan-Iran border.