August 2016 Quetta attacks

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August 2016 Quetta attacks
Part of the War in North-West Pakistan
Balochistan in Pakistan (claims hatched).svg
Location of Balochistan in Pakistan
LocationQuetta, Balochistan, Pakistan
Date8 August 2016
Attack type
Suicide bombing, Shooting
WeaponsExplosives, Automatic Rifle
Deaths70 to 94+[1][2]
Non-fatal injuries
120+
Perpetrators

On 8 August 2016, terrorists attacked the Government Hospital of Quetta in Pakistan with a suicide bombing and shooting.[6][7] They killed more than 70 people, mainly lawyers, and injured more than 130 others.[8] The fatalities were mainly advocates (lawyers) who had assembled at the hospital where the body of Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi, the president of Balochistan Bar Association, was brought after he was shot dead by an unknown gunman.[9] Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by various Islamist groups like Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and the Islamic State. Between 70[10][11][12][13][14][15] and 94 people were killed and over 120 injured.[16][17][18] 54 of those killed were lawyers.[19]

On 6 December 2016, the mastermind of the attack, Jehangir Badini, was killed in Pishin during an operation by security forces.[20]

Incident[edit]

Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi 46,[21] the president of Balochistan Bar Association, was attacked on the morning of 8 August near Mengal Chowk on Manno Jan Road while leaving his home for his office. His dead body was brought to the Government Hospital for autopsy and many advocates assembled there. A suspected suicide bombing took place inside the hospital, which was followed by gunfire resulting in fatalities and injuries.[9][22]

Police and Frontier Corps took over the area after the attack and an emergency was declared in hospitals of Quetta.[23] Mobile phone jammers were activated in the hospital area.[24] The Bomb Disposal Squad reported that 8 to 9 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack.[25] Two journalists, one from Aaj News and the other from Dawn News, died in the Quetta Civil Hospital attack while working.[26]

Perpetrators[edit]

Both the Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) have claimed responsibility for the attack. Initially Islamic State claimed the responsibility for the attack stating that “A martyr from the Islamic State detonated his explosive belt at a gathering of justice ministry employees and Pakistani policemen in the city of Quetta.”.[5][27][28] However, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Pakistani militant group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, also claimed credit for the attack on advocate Kasi and the hospital.[3][29][30] The group threatened that more attacks would take place "until the imposition of an Islamic system in Pakistan".[24]

ISPR quoted Army Chief Raheel Sharif as saying that the attack was targeting China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).[31]

Reactions[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain condemned the attack and expressed their grief over the loss. The government announced three-day mourning in which the National Flag of Pakistan will remain at half staff on government buildings.

Consequent to the attack, a scheduled meeting was held to review the implementation of National Action Plan and it was decided that a task force consisting of senior officials from the security agencies of both the federal and provincial governments, will be established to monitor the progress. Several politicians, including Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, Interior Minister Minister Sarfraz Bugti, former president Pervez Musharraf, National Security adviser Sartaj Aziz and Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria accused the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan's intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) of orchestrating the attack. The accusations reiterated past Pakistani claims of Indian involvement in Balochistan.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38] Pakistan's military establishment said that the threat to internal security was morphing due to a nexus between hostile foreign intelligence agencies and local militant groups.[39]

However, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Muhammad Khan Sherani and Leader of opposition in Pakistani Senate, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan alleged that the government was trying to save itself from any responsibility by blaming foreign agencies and contending that it was a failure of Pakistani Intelligence Agencies demanded sacking of officials if perpetrators are not caught.[40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47]

Provincial government announced compensation of Rs 10 million for deceased person's family and Rs 5 million for seriously injured. Medical expenses and associated charges of those admitted in Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Quetta and Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi will be compensated by Government. According to the victims Government is not doing enough for their care. Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, gave Rs 0.5 Million for the deceased and Rs 250,000 for injured.Education Fund was established by Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri for the children of the victims.[19]

International[edit]

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,[48][49] United States White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest[50] Afghan President Ashraf Ghani[51] and French President François Hollande all condemned the attack.[52] The Pakistan and England cricket teams observed a minute of silence before the start of their fourth test match. Both teams wore black arm-bands in solidarity with the victims.[53]

Social networking website Facebook activated its Safety Check feature enabling people to mark themselves safe.[54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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