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Pakistani Lawyers Go On Strike After Dozens Killed In Attack

Pakistani residents place candles at the site of a suicide bombing the day before at the Civil Hospital in Quetta on August 9.

Pakistani lawyers are staging a nationwide strike after dozens of colleagues were killed in a suicide bombing at a hospital in the southwestern city of Quetta.

Medical staff said up to 60 of the 70 slain in the bombing on August 8 at a government hospital were lawyers who had gathered to mourn the assassination earlier in the day of Bilal Kasi, president of the Balochistan Bar Association.

Islamic State was one of two Islamist militant groups to claim responsibility for the atrocity, although officials and analysts said they had doubts over whether the Middle East-based movement was behind the blast.

It was the latest, and deadliest, in a string of attacks against lawyers in Pakistan, seen by some militants as an extension of the government and so legitimate targets.

"How weak and pathetic are these people who target hospitals, where women and children, where patients, go to get treatment?" Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Pakistan's attorney general, said on August 9 at a protest outside the Supreme Court in the capital, Islamabad.

Based on reporting by Reuters