Balochistan, Pakistan: Suspected suicide blast kills at least nine police officers in Sibi


Qetta, Pakistan

At least nine police officers were killed and 11 others injured in a suspected suicide attack in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province on Monday, authorities said.

Kachhi Police Superintendent Mehmood Notezai said a vehicle carrying policemen was targeted in the Sibi district of the province. “Preliminary evidence suggests it was a suicide bombing,” he said, adding that an investigation was underway. Responsibility for the attack has not yet been claimed.

Of the injured officers, three are still in critical condition and are being treated in hospital, the administration of the combined military hospital of Sibi said.

Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province by area, has seen a decades-long insurgency by separatists demanding the country’s independence, citing what they say is the state’s monopoly and exploitation of the region’s mineral resources.

Monday’s blast was the third major attack on Pakistani security personnel in as many months, highlighting the country’s rapidly deteriorating security situation.

In February, at least four people were killed and 14 others injured after militants stormed police headquarters in the southern city of Karachi. The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has claimed responsibility for the attack, spokesman Mohammad Khorasani said.

And in January, at least 100 people — mostly police officers — died after a suicide bomb ripped through a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar, one of the country’s deadliest attacks in years.

TTP officials initially claimed the blast was “revenge” for the death of a TTP militant last year, before the militant group’s main spokesperson later denied the group was involved in the attack.

This is an evolving story. More to come …

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