Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claims responsibility for Friday's Quetta blast
The banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group, which has repeatedly targeted Pakistan's minority Shia community, today claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the Civil Hospital in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province.world Updated: Apr 17, 2010 16:43 IST
The banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group, which has repeatedly targeted Pakistan's minority Shia community, on Saturday claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the Civil Hospital in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province.
A spokesman for the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for Friday's attack in calls to the media in Quetta. He identified the suicide bomber as Haq Nawaz Baloch.
The bomber struck when a large number of Shias, journalists and TV cameramen had gathered at the Civil Hospital in the city following the death of a Shia banker, who was shot by unidentified gunmen.
The bomber's body parts have been recovered.
Those killed include a TV cameraman and four policemen. Parliamentarian Syed Nasir Ali Shah of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, five journalists and seven policemen were among over 40 people injured in the attack.
Authorities have announced a reward of Rs 500,000 for information on the bomber.
About 15 kg of explosives was used in the attack, which caused widespread damage to the hospital's emergency ward.
Arshad Zaidi, the banker who was shot dead, was the son of Ashraf Zaidi, President of the Balochistan Shia Conference.
Hundreds of Shias gathered at the hospital were protesting against his killing when the suicide bomber struck.
A strike was called in Quetta on Saturday by political parties and traders' organisations. All markets were closed. Local authorities closed all government and private educational institutions as well.
Additional police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to patrol the city.
The Balochistan Union of Journalists and the Quetta Press Club condemned the attack and killing of TV cameraman Malik Arif.
Journalists have decided to organise protests and observe three days of mourning. They said a peaceful protest will be held outside the Press Club today.
Black flags will be hoisted at all media offices and journalists will wear black bands to mourn the death of the TV cameraman.