ISLAMABAD – A suicide bombing in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province Sunday killed at least four soldiers and wounded 18 others.
Police said the bomber on a motorbike targeted a gathering of members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps at a security post in the provincial capital, Quetta.
Senior provincial police officer Azhar Akram said investigators had found body parts of the bomber and said some of those wounded in the powerful blast were in critical condition.
The outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan took responsibility for the morning attack, claiming it killed and injured more than 30 Frontier Corps personnel.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan denounced Sunday’s bombing.
“Condemn the TTP suicide attack on FC checkpost, Mastung road, Quetta. My condolences go to the families of the martyrs & prayers for the recovery of the injured. Salute our security forces & their sacrifices to keep us safe by thwarting foreign-backed terrorists’ designs,” Khan wrote on Twitter.
Condemn the TTP suicide attack on FC checkpost, Mastung road, Quetta. My condolences go to the families of the martyrs & prayers for the recovery of the injured. Salute our security forces & their sacrifices to keep us safe by thwarting foreign-backed terrorists’ designs.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 5, 2021
TTP, commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban, has lately increased attacks in the country. Pakistani officials say fugitive leaders of the group direct the violence against Pakistan from cross-border sanctuaries in Afghanistan.
General Faiz Hameed, the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, visited Afghanistan Saturday amid reports he would take the issue of the TTP up with the Afghan Taliban, who regained power in Kabul August 15.
The ISI allegedly maintained close contacts with the new rulers of Afghanistan and sheltered them in Pakistan while they were directing insurgent attacks against U.S.-led international forces during the past 20 years in their bid to regain control of the war-torn country.
Baluchistan, rich with natural resources, is also experiencing a low-level separatist Baluch insurgency. The militants routinely organize attacks against Pakistani security forces and other government targets.
China has lately invested billions of dollars in the province, building road networks, power plants and the deep-water Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea. The investment is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of Beijing’s global Belt and Road Initiative.
Baluch militants have recently increased attacks on both locals as well as Chinese nationals working on the mega project.
A suicide bomber last month blew himself up near a vehicle carrying Chinese workers. The blast killed two Pakistani children playing by the roadside and injured a Chinese national in Gwadar.
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