Pakistan mourns bombing victims; Islamic State claims responsibility

Pakistan began mourning on Tuesday for the 71 victims of a suicide bombing at a hospital in Quetta, as the Islamic State militant group said overnight it was behind the deadliest attack against the country since March.

One more victim succumbed to injuries overnight, bringing the death toll from the bombing in the south-western city to 71, said doctor Abdul Rehman, the head of the clinic that was bombed.

A bomber blew himself up among a group of lawyers on Monday who were gathered outside the hospital to mourn a colleague who was shot dead earlier in the day, police official Zafar Iman Shah said.

A source close to Islamic State in the Khurassan region, which includes Pakistan and Afghanistan, told dpa on Monday that the group carried out the attack.

But hours later a Taliban faction also claimed responsibility, saying the attack was to avenge an ongoing offensive by Pakistan's military against Islamist militants.

The Islamic State group said its cell in Khurassan was behind the attack in a statement posted on its affiliated news website, Amaq, late on Monday night.

It is the second major attack in Pakistan claimed by the group after last year’s shooting of 44 people in the minority Ismaili community in the southern city of Karachi.

Shops and schools were closed and security was tight in various parts of the local Balochistan province on Tuesday, as relatives began to bury the victims of the attack, Shah said.

Last update: Tue, 09/08/2016 - 11:02
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