Dozens killed in suicide bombing outside hospital in Pakistan

Explosion took place shortly after prominent lawyer's body was taken to Quetta hospital


People comfort each other following a bomb blast in Quetta | Photo: PA Images

At least 53 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a hospital in southwest Pakistan.

Dozens of other people were injured in the blast, which happened in the grounds of a government-run hospital in Quetta.

The explosion took place shortly after the body of a prominent lawyer killed in a shooting was taken to the hospital.

The bomb appeared to target around 150 mourners who had gathered close to the hospital's emergency ward, a spokesman for the regional government said.

The remains of the suicide attacker have been found at the scene, senior police officer Zahoor Ahmed Afridi added.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

It is not yet known who is behind the killing of the lawyer, Bilal Kasi, who was shot dead on Monday morning by two gunmen as he left his home for work.

In a statement, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his "deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives".

He said: "No one will be allowed to disturb peace in the province that has been restored due to countless sacrifices of security forces, police and the people of Balochistan."

Sarfraz Bugti, the provincial interior minister, denounced the suicide attack as an "act of terrorism."

The military has been deployed in and around Quetta's hospitals.

The attack is the second deadliest bombing in Pakistan this year, after a blast in Lahore which killed 75 people in March.