Hospital siege, blasts new Pakistan government’s first security test

A policeman lost his life in the attack on a popular symbol of Pakistan’s history, which was gutted by fire after several small bombs were detonated.

“Baluchistan is part of Pakistan and we will not leave our people alone in a time of tragedy,” Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid told reporters in a news conference.

The first attack was quickly followed by a bus bomb on a university campus in Baluchistan’s capital Quetta that killed at least 14 women students.

The injured were taken to the city’s Bolan Medical Complex, where an ambush by a suicide bomber and an ensuing firefight with security forces killed at least eight more people. The government said the Quetta attacks were not connected with the earlier blasts at the hill retreat.

The violence brought an abrupt end to a period of relative calm after Pakistan’s first ever transition between elected civilian governments, which brought Sharif to office for the third time, and highlighted the deep fissures in the nation he must govern.

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