The Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization claimed responsibility late Monday for a deadly suicide bombing at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, another indication of the group’s growing worldwide metastases as U.S.-led coalition airstrikes double down on its forces in Syria and Iraq.
At least 69 people died in the attack, most of them lawyers, which took place shortly after the body of Bilal Kasi, provincial president of the Balochistan Bar Association, was brought to the medical center after a shooting earlier in the day.
The bombing was carried out when the lawyers gathered to protest his murder, Ehsanullah Ehsan a spokesperson for the Tehreek-e-Taliban terror group, told NBC News. The group is a break-off group from the Pakistani Taliban, which claimed responsibility for both attacks.
The group also claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on a children’s park in Lahore this past March.
The White House immediately issued a statement condemning the attack. “The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s horrific suicide attack in Quetta, Pakistan. That this attack occurred at a hospital and appeared to target a gathering of lawyers mourning the death of a respected colleague makes it all the more heinous.
“Our hearts go out to the families and other loved ones of the more than 60 killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to the dozens more injured. The United States is committed to our continuing counterterrorism partnership with Pakistan, and we remain resolute in joining with the people of Pakistan in confronting terrorism in Pakistan and across the region.”Hana Levi Julian