Bombs targeting Pakistani police in Balochistan kill four, wound 22

Outlawed group claims responsibility for the attack in Quetta’s market; PM Shehbaz says "nefarious designs" of terrorists will be foiled


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Police officers inspect the site of a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, on Monday. — AP
Police officers inspect the site of a bomb blast in Quetta, Pakistan, on Monday. — AP

Published: Mon 10 Apr 2023, 10:27 PM

Two roadside bombs hours apart targeted police vehicles in southwestern Pakistan on Monday killing at least four people and wounding 22, mostly civilian pedestrians, a government spokesperson said.

The first attack in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, killed two police officers and two civilians. Hours later, another bomb in the city went off near a police vehicle, wounding four people, police said.

In a statement, the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the first attack. The BLA, which was designated a terrorist group by the United States in 2019, said its fighters targeted the vehicle of a police officer who was behind the arrest of members of the group.

Although such attacks are common, the Pakistani Taliban have also stepped up assaults on troops and police across Pakistan since November, when they ended a months-long cease-fire with the government.

Monday's attack in Quetta comes days after Pakistan said its top intelligence agency arrested Gulzar Imam, who is also known by the name Shambay, and was the militant founder and leader of another banned group, the Baloch Nationalist Army.

In separate statements, Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo condemned the attack. They asked authorities to provide the best possible medical care to the wounded.

The Pakistani Taliban, who are known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, have claimed previous such attacks in Balochistan and elsewhere. The militant group is separate from, but allied with, the Afghan Taliban.

The latest attack comes a day after the TTP shot and killed two police officers in Quetta. One of the assailants was also killed when police returned fire after coming under attack in the city on Sunday night.

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