Editor's note: Lokal Pakistani media outlet Dawn News, as well as the Associated Press, have reported that the hospital bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, followed the killing of former president of Balochistan Bar Association Bilal Anwar Kasi, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Quetta earlier today. Dawn News reported that the blast took place soon after lawyers arrived at the hospital when the body of their colleague was brought in, and AP said dozens of lawyers and journalists were present when the explosion happened. It is unclear whether the shooting and the explosion are related. Pakistani police said an investigation is ongoing. We will continue to post information as soon as we have them. - Imana
Quetta (Urdu: کوئٹہ, Pashto: کوټه, Balochi: کویتهpronunciation) is the provincial capital of Balochistan, Pakistan and the ninth-largest city of Pakistan. The city is known as the fruit garden of Pakistan, due to the numerous fruit orchards in and around it, and the large variety of fruits and dry fruits produced there. The city was also known as Little Paris in the past due to its beauty and geographical location. The immediate area has long been one of pastures and mountains, with varied plants and animals relative to the dry plains to the west. Quetta is at an average elevation of 1,680 meters (5,510 feet) above sea level, making it Pakistan's only high-altitude major city. The population of the city is estimated to be approximately 1,140,000.
Located in north western Balochistan near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Quetta is a trade and communication centre between the two countries. The city lies on the Bolan Pass route which was once the only gateway from Central Asia to South Asia. Quetta played an important role militarily for the Pakistani Armed Forces in the intermittent Afghanistan conflict.