Bomb kills soldier, injures 11 in southwest Pakistan
QUETTA, Pakistan — A bomb blast near a vehicle carrying Pakistani paramilitary troops in southwestern Balochistan province killed one soldier and injured 11 people, mostly civilians, police and state officials said on Monday. Security.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place on Sunday.
Pakistan has been battling an insurgency in Balochistan for more than a decade, with the province’s separatists demanding full autonomy or a greater share of the province’s gas and mineral resources.
The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan – or TTP as the Pakistani Taliban are called – and other militants also have a presence in the province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan.
Sunday’s bombing took place near the Musa Khan checkpoint in Balochistan’s provincial capital Quetta, local police chief Mohammad Khan said. He provided no further details.
Shortly after the bombing, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. Police and security officials have not confirmed the source of the explosion.
The latest incident comes a week after a suicide bomber killed 101 people at a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar, prompting national condemnation and prompting Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to convene a meeting of politicians from the opposition and its allies to discuss how to respond to the surge. in militant violence.
The conference was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was pushed back to Thursday.
Pakistani officials have accused the TTP, which maintains shrines in neighboring Afghanistan, of orchestrating the Peshawar bombing. The TTP denied any involvement. The militant group has, however, stepped up its attacks since November, when it ended a ceasefire with the Islamabad government.
Sharif has invited his predecessor and opposition leader Imran Khan to Thursday’s talks, but Khan has yet to confirm his participation.
Since the attack in Peshawar, members of civil society groups have held rallies across the country, holding prayer ceremonies for the victims and demanding that the government take action to curb the upsurge in militant attacks.