"It was a scene like hell on earth," said Ali. "Rescue people were carrying out dead and injured, people bleeding and crying, and rushing them toward ambulances. I have never seen such a horrifying situation in my life."
One of those killed in the carnage was a young human rights activist named Irfan Ali.
"He was a very active, energetic activist," said Tahir Hussain, a lawyer and vice chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's Baluchistan chapter. He said Ali had been associated with the HRCP for the last ten years, often writing about social issues and oppression of the Shiite Hazara community. Shiite Hazara migrated from Afghanistan more than a century ago and have been the targets of dozens of attacks over the past year, but Thursday's was by far the bloodiest.
Ali appeared to have been killed during the second explosion after he rushed to the scene to help, said Hussain. On his Twitter feed before his death, Ali wrote about Hazara families who were leaving the area in fear.
Many residents railed at the government for the repeated acts of violence.
"This government has totally failed in protecting us," said Abbas Ali, who was collecting items from the rubble of his nearby shop, also destroyed in the blast. "Somehow we will get compensation for our losses but those who have gone away will not come back."
Pakistan's minority Shiite Muslims have increasingly been targeted by radical Sunnis who consider them heretics. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group with strong ties to the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack.
Last year was the bloodiest year for Pakistan's Shiite community in living memory, said Human Rights Watch in a press release Thursday. According to the organization over 400 Shiites were killed in targeted attacks in 2012; over 120 of them died in Baluchistan.
In the other incident in Quetta, a bomb hidden in a bag went off near a vehicle carrying paramilitary soldiers elsewhere in the city, killing 12 people and wounding more than 40 others.
The United Baluch Army, a separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack in calls to local journalists. Pakistan has faced a violent insurgency in Baluchistan for years from nationalists who demand greater autonomy and a larger share of the country's natural resources.
The third blast Thursday targeted a mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Mingora, killing 22 people and wounding more than 70. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for that explosion.