Islamabad, June 16 (PTI): A woman Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) suicide bomber carried out the devastating attack on a university bus carrying women yesterday, police said.
Her male accomplice struck a hospital in Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta, the police added as the death toll today rose to 26 in the multiple strikes.
LeJ, a banned sectarian outfit, has claimed responsibility for the attacks on the bus and at the Bolan Medical Complex (BMC), saying they were carried out in retaliation for a raid against the group by security forces.
A senior security official today said the first blast was carried out by a woman suicide bomber on the bus of the Sardar Bahadur Khan University for women medical students in which 14 of them were killed.
About 40 students and teachers were in the bus, waiting to go home after classes. Twenty-two women were injured by the powerful blast.
According to the official, who declined to be named, the woman bomber had managed to sneak in and get on the bus and detonate herself.
After the attack when the injured were shifted to the Bolan Medical Complex, a male suicide bomber and other heavily armed militants struck the building, firing indiscriminately.
At least 12 people, including four militants, four nurses and the deputy commissioner of Quetta, were killed in the nearly four hours siege of the complex where the injured students were brought for treatment, the official said.
“The siege only ended after an extensive gun battle and a male suicide bomber blowing himself up,” the official said. “The militants had planned everything out.… The male suicide bomber was waiting inside the BMC Hospital ward for the arrival of high-level officials and blew up himself when they reached,” he said.
Reports said the university bus was assigned for students from a nearby neighbourhood dominated by the Shia Hazara community, which has been the target of several attacks by the LeJ.
Deputy commissioner Abdul Mansoor Kakar, a medico-legal officer of the hospital, four nurses and as many Frontier Corps personnel were killed in the second attack.
One militant was captured by the security forces who also freed 35 hostages.
The Balochistan government announced a day of mourning today.