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Pakistan: Bomb Misses Police Chief

  • RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

QUETTA, Pakistan -- Officials say the police chief of Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan Province has narrowly escaped a suicide bomb attack.

Officials said the blast on May 12 in the provincial capital, Quetta, killed six people and injured more than 60 others.

Speaking shortly after the attack, Police Inspector-General Mushtaq Sukhera told journalists that he was not hurt.

According to Sukhera, a truck laden with explosives exploded outside his home in Quetta just as he entered the building.

"Our forensic reports show that the explosives were placed in a Hino truck," he said. "The quantity of the explosives is yet to be determined, but it is estimated to have been from 1,500 to 2,000 kilograms."

The six dead are reported to include two police officers, three paramilitary soldiers, and one passerby.

Reports say the powerful blast left a deep crater in the ground, shattered nearby windows, and was heard across the city.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Islamist militants, Sunni sectarian extremists, and ethnic Baluch separatists have all carried out attacks in Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

The attacks routinely target security forces.

The bombing in Quetta came one day after general elections that were marred by violence.

In the biggest election day attack, at least 10 people were killed and dozens injured in a bombing in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi.

The blast targeted offices of the secular Awami National Party.

The target, candidate Amanullah Mehsud, escaped unhurt.
More than 100 people were shot dead or killed in bombing attacks in the run-up to the election, with at least 28 killed on election day.

The deadly campaign failed to keep people away from the polls, which saw a turnout of nearly 60 percent.

According to partial election results, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N party won the most votes, and it looks likely Sharif will control a majority of the seats in parliament.

With reporting by AFP, dpa, and Reuters
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