At least 63 people including lawyers and media men were killed and dozens injured in a suicide blast at the Civil Hospital in southwestern city of Quetta in Pakistan on Monday morning.
Graphic video footage from the scene showed bodies strewn on the ground, some smoking, among pools of blood and shattered glass as shocked survivors cried and comforted one another. A large burn mark against white brick appeared to indicate where the explosion occurred.
Nearly 100 lawyers had come to the hospital in the heart of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, after the body of their colleague, prominent attorney Bilal Kasi was brought there.
Kasi was shot and killed by gunmen earlier on Monday, as he was on his way to his office, and the lawyers later gathered at the Quetta Civil Hospital to express their grief.
According to Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), eight to nine kilograms of explosives were used in the attack.
The injured persons were immediately rushed to Bolan Medical Complex and other nearby hospitals.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast and expressed his "deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives" in the attack, in which several senior lawyers were also killed.
"No one will be allowed to disturb the peace in the province that has been restored thanks to the countless sacrifices by the security forces, police and the people of Baluchistan," he said in a statement.
Sharif asked the local authorities to maintain utmost vigilance and beef up security in Quetta.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either the blast or the shooting. But militant groups in the province routinely target security forces and government installations.