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Siege ends after attacks in Pakistan's Quetta

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    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/06/201361510251151772.html Siege ends after attacks in Pakistan s Quetta At least 24 killed in attacks on women s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 15, 2013

      Siege ends after attacks in Pakistan's Quetta

      At least 24 killed in attacks on women's university bus and siege at nearby hospital where wounded were taken.

      Last Modified: 15 Jun 2013 15:36
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      The initial attack was followed by a bombing and siege of the hospital where the injured were taken [EPA]

      A gun and bomb attack near a women's university, and ensuing siege at a nearby hospital, in Quetta has killed at least 24 people, including 11 female students, and wounded dozens of others, police and local officials say.

      The first explosion happened on a bus near the campus of the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women's University, with a bomb hidden in the vehicle, reports said.

      The second blast struck the casualty ward of the Bolan Medical Complex, and firing continued in the aftermath. At least eight unidentified gunmen were reported to have taken positions in the hospital, and killed at least three security personnel who were attempting to resecure the facility and three nurses, local officials said.

      Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the country's interior minister, said that the siege had ended by 8:30pm local time (15:30 GMT) on Saturday, with security forces freeing 35 people trapped inside the building and killing four of the attackers. One of the attackers was also arrested.

      Khan confirmed that four security forces personnel and one senior government official had been killed during the violence.

      Zubair Mahmood, the city police chief, described the bombing targetting the bus earlier in the day as having been carried out by an "improvied explosive device". The bomb exploded after the students had boarded and the bus was leaving the university.

      "We are investigating if it was a remote controlled bomb," the police official said.

      Another police official, Fayyaz Sumbal, added that the bus caught fire after the explosion and many students were critically wounded.

      Siege at hospital

      Authorities say that Abdul Mansoor Khan, the deputy commissioner of Quetta, was among those killed at the hospital, Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reported. So far, at least 36 people have been injured in both attacks, he said.

      Pakistani security forces surrounded the hospital and carried out an operation to clear it once the gunmen had taken over.

      Quetta is the capital city of Balochistan province, and regularly witnesses violence on a large scale.

      Earlier on Saturday in the town of Ziarat - some 120km from Quetta - a rocket attack by unknown attackers killed a policeman and gutted a historic summer retreat used by Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

      Since the start of the year, more than 300 people have been killed in attacks by sectarian, ethnic and anti-state groups in Quetta.

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