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At least four killed by bomb in southwest Pakistan

#killed #bomb #southwest #Pakistan

At least four people were killed and 15 others injured Monday by a bomb blast in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, officials said.

The bomb targeted a police vehicle in a busy market in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, which is home to several separatist and Islamist insurgencies.

“Initial probe suggests that the explosion was caused by an IED (improvised explosive device) that had been planted on a motorcycle and was detonated using remote control,” police official Azfar Mehsar told AFP.

“At least four people were killed in the incident — that includes two policemen and two civilians,” he added.

Wasim Baig, spokesman for the Sandeman Provincial Hospital in Quetta, confirmed the death toll, adding that the civilian casualties include a five-year-old girl.

Pakistan has been battling a years-long insurgency by militants in Balochistan who are demanding a bigger share of the province’s wealth, as well as attacks by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistan Taliban.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack. 

Tensions in the province have been stoked by a flood of Chinese investment under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, which locals say has not reached them.

China is investing in the area under a $54 billion project known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, upgrading infrastructure, power and transport links between its far-western Xinjiang region and Pakistan’s Gwadar port.

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