QUETTA As many as 59 people were killed and over 120 including seven journalists suffered serious injuries in a deadly suicide blast, targeting Youm-al-Quds rally at Meezan Chowk of the provincial capital on Friday. Banned religious outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has accepted responsibility for the attack. Unruly protesters burnt vehicles, ransacked public properties, shops and fired gunshots on media persons. Hundreds of people from Shia community while leading a rally opposing Israels control of Jerusalem and showing solidarity with Palestinians were passing from Meezan Chowk when a suicide bomber blew himself up right in the middle of the procession. As a result, over 40 people died on the spot and more than 120 people suffered serious wounds. Heavy firing was also heard soon after the blast while several shops were also damaged due to the blast. The injured and the deceased were shifted to Civil Hospital, Bolan Medical Complex Hospital and Combined Military Hospital where another 15 injured succumbed to their wounds. An emergency was declared in all government hospitals following the suicide blast. Hospital sources said that 11 bodies were brought to Civil Hospital, 44 to CMH and four were moved to BMC. However, official sources confirmed only 43 casualties. Driver of a private TV channel namely Sarwar was also killed in the blast while seven journalists, including Noor Elahi Bugti, Ejaz Raisani, Fateh Shakir, Mustafa Tareen, Shahid, Irshad Mastoi and Imran Muktiar suffered serious wounds. After the blast, a large number of people suffered injuries due to stampede in the procession. Sources said that several people also sustained injuries due to firing that followed the blast. The victims of the blast were shifted to hospital in rickshaws and other available vehicles owing to shortage of ambulances at the blast scene. The critical injured were later shifted to CMH after getting first-aid in Civil Hospital. Some deceased were identified as Gul Muhammad, Muhammad Javed, Hussain Ali, Naseebullah, Imran, Talib Hussain, Mehdi Hussain, Muhammad Hussain, Syed Abass, Raza Zargar, Ejaz Sarwar, Jalil Ahmed, Barat Ali and Raja Anwar. The blast was far more deadly and people were seen lying in pools of blood everywhere. I was witnessing the rally which was heading towards Meezan Chowk when suddenly a huge explosion followed by intense firing took place and people started running helter-skelter, an eyewitness told TheNation. Another witness, Naseer Ahmed, that he heard the blast on his way from Shahra-e-Iqbal. I headed towards the direction of the blast after a few seconds, I heard gunshots, and immediately left the area, he said. Soon after the blast, shopkeepers pulled down shutters in all main markets and people starting running towards their homes while the public transport disappeared and many people, who had come to the bazaar, had to travel on foot. In the meantime, several groups of furious people started attacking the public property and vehicles in different areas of the City. More than five vehicles, including a vehicle of security forces and five motorcycles and several shops were set on fire. The infuriated protestors who had gathered outside Civil Hospital Quetta blocked Jinnah Road and also made gunshots on journalists who were covering the incident. However, luckily they remained unhurt in the attack. Police sources said that when the rally reached Alamdar Road, DIG (Operations) Hamid Shakeel and some other police officers stopped participants from heading towards Meezan Chowk due to security threats but instead of following the instruction they attacked police with sticks and marched towards Meezan Chowk. IG Balochistan Malik Mohammad Iqbal told the media that the police had earlier tried to stop the rally from going towards Meezan Chowk citing security concerns but the participants refused to follow the instructions. There were some intelligence reports about any unpleasant incident that is why the rally was requested to follow the planned route but they refused to do so, he added. Sources said that due to Juma prayers already foolproof security arrangements were made as police backed by Balochistan Constabulary, Anti-Terrorist Force and Frontier Corps were deployed outside all imambargahs and mosques while tight security arrangements were also made at Meezan Chowk. Police had also placed barricades to stop procession towards Meezan Chowk but they broke them and the tragic incident occurred, they added. Police sources said that head and other body parts of alleged suicide bomber had been recovered from the blast site who was aged between 20 and 22 and further investigations were underway. Bomb Disposal Squad officials said the bomber used suicide vest weighing 10 to 15 kg to carry out the attack. Meanwhile, Spokesman of banned religious outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Ali Sher Haideri calling from unspecified location via satellite phone claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the rally of Youm-al-Quds. Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani have condemned the suicide attack and expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the incident. On the other hand, Chairman Tahaffuz Azadari Council Pakistan Muhammad Rahim Jaffari strongly condemned the suicide blast and described it failure of provincial government. He announced observing 40 days of mourning over the tragic incident and a shutter-down strike on Saturday (today) in Quetta.