New Delhi: Three suicide bombers attacked Pakistani police and paramilitary troopers in the country’s southwest province, killing at least five security force members and wounding seven others.
A military statement said on April 24 that a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device near a police van on Airport Road in Balochistan Province’s capital, Quetta, killing five officers and wounding seven others. Provincial police chief Moazzam Jah Ansari put the death toll at six. Quetta is the largest city and provincial capital of Balochistan province, which has often seen unrest and violence.
Islamist militants with ties to the Taliban, al-Qaeda and ISIS are known to operate in the province, Reuters reported. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.
“Two other suicide bombers tried to hit a checkpoint manned by the Frontier Corps in the Mian Ghundi area, but were killed before they could explode their suicide vests,” the military said.
Islamic State has created a branch in Pakistan and Afghanistan, mostly by recruiting among break away factions of other established militant groups. Members of these factions have claimed responsibility for some of the most deadly attacks in the past.
Six members of Pakistan’s tiny Christian minority community, four of them from the same family, and two people from the Shi’ite Muslim minority were gunned down in Quetta this month.
Last December, a church full of worshipers in Quetta was targeted, which left at least seven dead. A suicide attack in Lahore killed at least 14 people in March 2015, and suicide attack on a church in Peshawar in 2013 killed more than 80 people.
The crisis in Pakistani-occupied Balochistan has transformed into a full-fledged “Baloch War of Independence” due to the oppressive policies of the military and negligence of the government.
(Inputs from Reuters)