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17 April 2024

Car bomb injures 10 in Pakistan


Ten people including four policemen were injured Saturday when a car bomb targeting a senior police official exploded in the southwestern city of Quetta, police said.

The bomb, planted in a Suzuki car, exploded as a police vehicle carrying Shaban Ali passed through the heart of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province, senior police official Hamid Shakeel told AFP.

"At least 10 people including four policemen and and six passers-by were wounded in the attack targeting Shaban Ali, who remained unhurt." Shakeel said.

He added that nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. Local security officials, who declined to be identified, also confirmed the incident. Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has seen an upswing in violence recently, with the province suffering from a separatist insurgency, sectarian violence and Taliban militants.

Hundreds of people have died since rebels rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's natural oil, gas and mineral resources.

Elsewhere in the restive northwestern Khyber tribal region near the Afghan border, an improvised explosive device (IED) and mortar attack wounded three people including a soldier on Saturday.

"The IED blast took place immediately after a convoy of security forces passed," top local administration official Shafeerullah Khan said.

He added that a mortar fired from an undisclosed location landed near the Bara press club. "At least three people were injured in the two attacks."

Lashkar-e-Islam, which means Army of Islam, is a home-grown Islamist group with ties to the Taliban that has caused unrest in the Khyber region, including attacks on Nato supply vehicles travelling through the area.

Khyber is on the main Nato land supply route through Pakistan into Afghanistan, where almost 150,000 foreign forces are battling to reverse an escalating Taliban insurgency, now in its ninth year.

The district neighbours the northwestern city of Peshawar, which is increasingly the target of Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked bomb attacks.