Quetta blast, hospital siege kill at least 21
Zee Media Bureau
Islamabad: In a sinister attack, militants on Saturday targeted a bus of a women`s university with a bomb and then stormed a hospital where the victims were being rushed to in the Pakistani city of Quetta, killing at least 21 people including 11 girl students and injuring several others.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan addressing a press conference said that the siege has now ended and those trapped inside the hospital have been freed.
A powerful blast ripped through a stationary bus within the campus of Sardar Bahadur Khan Women`s University at Brewery Road this afternoon.
Students and faculty members were waiting to go home when a bomb planted in the bus went off. Several girls sustained severe burn injuries as the explosion triggered a fire.
Footage on television showed flames and black smoke emerging from the bus, which was reduced to a blackened heap of metal.
Police officials said 11 girls, all students of the university, were killed. Twenty-two injured people, most of them students, were taken to the nearby Bolan Medical Complex.
About an hour after the attack on the bus, a blast occurred inside the Bolan Medical Complex while casualties were still being brought in.
Several armed militants inside the hospital then began firing indiscriminately. Several senior civil and police officials, including the police chief and Chief Secretary of Balochistan, were inside the hospital and Quetta Deputy Commissioner Abdul Mansoor Kakar was killed in the firing, Geo News channel reported.
Footage on television showed a large crowd, including security personnel and journalists, standing outside the hospital when the blast went off.
People ran helter-skelter and men and women could be seen cowering behind vehicles in the parking lot.
Security forces, including the paramilitary Frontier Corps, surrounded the hospital and engaged the militants.
Some militants took position on the roof of the hospital and fired at anyone who tried to enter the building.
TV news channels reported dozens of people, including journalists and patients, were inside the hospital.
No group claimed responsibility for both attacks, which came hours after militants attacked and destroyed a historic 121-year-old building in Ziarat, about 120 km from Quetta, that was used by Pakistan?s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the last days of his life.
A policeman was killed in that attack, which was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army.
(With agency inputs)
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