A suicide bomber driving on a bike rammed right into a police truck in Pakistan’s restive southwest, killing at the least 10 policemen and wounding 12 officers in one of many deadliest assaults on safety forces in current months, authorities mentioned.
No one instantly claimed accountability for the bombing, which happened on a bridge within the district of Sibi in Baluchistan province, however Baluch separatists and native militants have been blamed for earlier such assaults.
Mahmood Notenzai, an area police chief, mentioned the officers have been on a routine patrol when the assault occurred, initially killing 9. The casualties have been taken to a close-by hospital, the place one of many critically wounded policemen later died, he added. Sibi is about 190 miles east of Quetta, the provincial capital.
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The pressure of the blast overturned the truck, which induced further accidents, he mentioned. Trucks usually transport troops in Pakistan.
Notenzai mentioned the officers who got here below assault have been deployed final week to Sibi, the place an annual cultural competition was held amid tight safety. An military helicopter was despatched to evacuate the critically wounded to a hospital in Quetta, the place higher well being services can be found.
Last 12 months, a suicide bomber from the extremist Islamic State group focused President Arif Alvi ‘s safety convoy when he attended the Sibi competition. Alvi was far-off from the positioning of the bombing, which killed 5 troops. IS militants later claimed accountability for that assault.
The competition has been celebrated for a number of centuries to mark the arrival of summer time.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif condemned the assault. In an announcement, he expressed his condolences to the households of these killed and ordered well being officers to supply the perfect medical look after the wounded policemen. He mentioned the assault was a part of nefarious enemy plans to destabilize Pakistan and vowed to defeat terrorism.
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Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, the highest elected official in Baluchistan, additionally denounced the bombing.
“The terrorists who’re finishing up such assaults are the enemy of Pakistan,” he mentioned, including that they won’t shake the resolve of the nation’s police.
Baluchistan has lengthy struggled with a low-level insurgency by the Baluchistan Liberation Army and different small separatist teams demanding independence from the central authorities in Islamabad.
Authorities declare to have quelled the insurgency however violence has continued. The province has additionally seen assaults by militants from each the Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic State group.
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