Blast in Pakistan hospital kills at least 63

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Pakistani relatives mourn next to bodies of victims after a bomb explosion at a government hospital premises in Quetta on August 8, 2016. At least 20 people have been killed after a bomb went off at a major hospital in the southwest Pakistani city of Quetta, an AFP reporter and officials said, with fears the death toll could rise. / AFP / BANARAS KHAN (Photo credit should read BANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

QUETTA, Pakistan — At least 63 people were killed in a blast at a hospital in northwestern Pakistan, a regional official said.

The explosion also injured at least 70 others, said Rehmat Baloch, the health minister of Balochistan province.

The blast took place at 9:30 a.m. local time (12.30 a.m. ET) Monday in the city of Quetta. The explosion rocked the emergency ward of the civil hospital, Sarfaraz Bugti, Home Minister of Balochistan, told CNN.

There have been no claims of responsibility so far.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif condemned the blast.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Lawyers and journalists had gathered at the hospital after the body of a prominent activist lawyer, Bilal Kasi, shot and killed earlier in the day had been brought there.

Kasi was the Balochistan Bar Association president, according to local media.

The prime minister said in a statement that he has directed authorities to “maintain utmost vigilance” and that security for members in the legal fraternity as well as members of civil society has been boosted.

Facebook activated its safety check after the hospital blast.

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